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GoviEx in talks with Niger govt on Madaouela start date

19th April 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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TSX-V listed GoviEx Uranium is in discussions with the government of Niger regarding the start of mining operations after having received notice that it must begin mining at its Madaouela uranium project by July 3, or risk having its mine permit revoked.

The company says it is committed to developing the project and is working with the Nigerien government towards a mutually beneficial solution that complies with applicable law and protects the company’s rights.

While there is no guarantee of the outcome of these discussions, GoviEx says it is committed to exploring all viable options to ensure the best results for the company and all of its stakeholders.

In parallel with the discussions with the government, GoviEx is in discussions with third parties regarding potential investments to expedite the development of the project.

The company says it will provide further updates as these discussions progress.

“Since the start of our operations in Niger, we have completed an unprecedented 650 000 m drilling campaign, all with local contractors and employees, to define the potential mineral resource there, which is now amongst the largest known resources in the world.

“The company has since worked with local engineers to design a state-of-the-art openpit and underground mine that has an expected life of over 20 years and that will provide hundreds of new jobs to Nigeriens.

“The company was able to do this because it cooperated with governments and worked with locals to create a mutually beneficial outcome. Our commitment to the country remains and we will use all appropriate means available to us to ensure that we continue to develop the project,” says GoviEx executive chairperson Govind Friedland.

GoviEx says it has successfully advanced the project from its initial exploration phase, through a period of historically low uranium prices, to the publication of its feasibility study in late 2022.

It notes that the project has advanced despite political change since the coup d’état on July 26, 2023. Since then, the company has completed its updated environmental- and social-impact assessment, required to start construction and operations.

GoviEx announced in March that due diligence for the project had started on behalf of prospective lenders and that it had expressions of interest in excess of $200-million for project related debt finance, and to date continued discussions with potential lenders and offtakers.

More recently, the company started front-end engineering designs and initial ground works, including the construction of an access road at the project, and preparation of terracing necessary to commence civil engineering.

GoviEX says the Madaouela project represents a significant investment in the Nigerien economy, with an anticipated initial capital expenditure of $343-million, and is expected to generate considerable employment opportunities with the potential of creating up to 800 jobs over its forecast 20-year mine life.

The Madaouela project is also expected to contribute substantial royalty payments and taxes to the government.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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