Niger and Areva to continue talksStaff writer ▼ | January 9, 2014
Negotiations between Niger and the French nuclear energy conglomerate Areva have hardened as the two sides seek to reach an agreement on uranium extraction in the Western African country.Negotiations between Niger and the French nuclear energy conglomerate Areva have hardened as the two sides seek to reach an agreement on uranium extraction in the Western African country.
The talks are still ongoing the deadline already passed, with fiscal matters seen as the most sensitive issue, writes Cécile Barbiere for Euractiv.fr.
Discussions centre on the implementation of Niger's 2006 mining law that allows Niamey to increase taxes on uranium extraction. Areva refuses to comply with the taxation rules and wants to conserve the fiscal exonerations foreseen by the previous extraction agreement.
Although uranium represents 70% of Niger's exports, it only contributes 5.8% to its GDP, according to Oxfam, the development NGO. Areva rejects those figures and argues that Niger has earned €871 million from uranium extraction in the past 40 years, representing 85% of the direct income generated by this mining activity. Areva has earned €129 million (13%) and €24 million went to foreign partners (2%), the French public company says.
The renegotiation of the contract between one of the world's poorest countries and the French public multinational are expected to conclude with a new agreement for the next ten years. You can read an in-depth story here. ■