France's Areva reaches uranium deal with Niger

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — French nuclear manufacturer Areva has reached a deal with Niger's government to continue uranium mining after promising to pay more taxes and invest in local development.

Critics say the country's uranium riches aren't translating into wealth for its citizen and have accused Areva of exploiting Niger since it began operations in 1971. Niger is the world's fourth-largest uranium producer.

Areva SA says in a statement that its chief executive signed a deal Monday with Niger ministers renewing its mining contracts. No financial details of the agreement were released.

Areva agreed to pay higher taxes in accordance with Niger's 2006 mining code. Areva also promised to name Nigeriens to management positions in subsidiary companies, and invest 117 million euros in roads and development of the Irhazer valley region.