July 18, 2011 / 7:49 AM / 9 years ago

Niger president seeks more value from uranium price

A general view of a uranium processing site is seen in Isfahan, 340 km (211 miles) south of Tehran in this March 30, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Niger, a major supplier of uranium to the French nuclear sector, wants a better price for its supplies, President Mahamadou Issoufou told state TV.

Issoufou, who came to power after March elections that ended just over a year of military rule, said the poor desert state was determined to make the most of its resources.

“I am absolutely determined that our resources under the ground support the economic and social development of Niger,” he said in Saturday’s address, which marked his first 100 days in office.

Around a third of Niger’s export revenue comes from uranium. It is also targeting a start in oil production from the first quarter of next year.

France’s Areva controls production of uranium from two mines around the northern town of Arlit.

Output is around 3,000 tonnes a year, with Niger set to rival Canada as the world’s second-largest producer after Kazakhstan when a third mine, Imouraren, comes on line with 5,000 tonnes from 2013-2014.

Issoufou, a trained engineer and former local Areva official, said the price of 40,000 CFA francs per kilo negotiated by the former government for 2008 and 2009 was less than the spot price of uranium on the market at the time.

He did not say what price he would be seeking.

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