Orano says Niger has removed mining permit for its Imouraren unit

Credit: Orano SA

French company Orano said on Thursday that Niger had removed a mining permit for its subsidiary Imouraren.

Orano said the decision would have a negative economic impact on Niger and added it reserved the right to take legal measures to challenge the decision.

Why it’s important

The West African nation of Niger has Africa’s highest-grade uranium ores and it is also the world’s seventh-biggest producer of uranium.

The radioactive metal is the most widely used fuel for nuclear energy. It is also used in treating cancer, for naval propulsion, and in nuclear weapons.

Key quotes

“Orano fears that this decision to withdraw the mining permit for the deposit will have a negative impact on the economic, social and societal development of the region,” said Orano in a statement.

“Orano remains willing to keep all channels of communication open with the Niger authorities on this subject, while reserving the right to challenge the decision to withdraw the mining permit before the competent national or international jurisdictions,” it added.


The business climate for international companies in Niger has become uncertain after a military coup last year.

In January, Niger’s self-appointed government temporarily suspended the granting of new mining licences and ordered an audit of the sector.

The move by Niger against Orano, which is controlled by the French state, also comes amid a backdrop of waning French influence in Niger after the last French military troops deployed in Niger left the country in December 2023.

(By Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Susan Fenton and Deepa Babington)


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