GoviEx begins engineering design at uranium project in Niger

By bne IntelliNews March 19, 2024

Canada’s GoviEx Uranium has taken a significant step forward in its Madaouela uranium project in Niger, announcing the commencement of engineering design activities. 

The Madaouela project is notable for its significant uranium resources, boasting measured and indicated mineral resources of 96.9mn pounds of U3O8, along with inferred resources of 19.6mn pounds of U3O8. This places it among the largest uranium deposits.

The company has hired SGS Bateman for front-end engineering designs, and has begun groundwork, which includes building access roads, site clearance and civil engineering construction.

"This progression marks a significant step towards the Madaouela Project's development, complementing both the initiation of lender due diligence announced earlier this month and GoviEx's receipt of expressions of interest (EOIs) for project-related debt finance of approximately $200mn," said the company.

GoviEx has been keen to emphasise the benefits of the Madaouela project for Niger as a whole. With an estimated initial investment of $343mn, the project aims to create about 800 jobs throughout its anticipated 20-year duration, helping to meet vital employment demands. Besides mining, the project is anticipated to generate significant royalty payments and taxes, which will benefit Niger's local economy.

The Canadian company, which also has assets in Zambia, noted the recent developments concerning the Niger-US military arrangements after the announcement by the Nigerien government of the termination of their military accord, which was due to expire later this year.

Commenting on these developments, Daniel Major, CEO of GoviEx said:

"Whilst we continue to monitor the current political situation in Niger, I am really pleased to start the development of Front-End Engineering Designs, as well as the initial ground works at Madaouela. This Project is more than an investment in uranium; it's an investment in the future of Niger, aiming to bring economic benefits and develop local talent that will serve the nation for years to come. With two projects in development, we are uniquely positioned to benefit from the current uranium market."

Niger's decision to terminate its military agreement with Washington may be linked to accusations from Washington that Niger's ruling National Council for the Salvation of the Homeland (NCSR) was secretly negotiating a deal to provide Iran with access to uranium resources, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 17.

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