The Republic of Niger is a very poor country, but expecting a second uranium boom. The pursuit of raw materials by northern and emerging countries has allowed Niger to generate significant financial revenues. Furthermore, this recent competitive climate characterized by a redistribution on the geopolitical and economic landscape, has resulted in the end of the French monopoly over yellowcake (uranium ore concentrate) exports. The dominating Areva group has been undermined by the arrival of Chinese companies keen to exploit Africa’s oil and mineral wealth, resources which are essential for the development of the Republic of Niger.
In order to understand these new challenges and the current balance of power struggles pertaining to Nigerien uranium, this article analyses the impact of exploitation on Niger’s domestic and foreign politics as well as on its economy. Finally, it considers the effects on Niger of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident.
- Nigerien Uranium Mining Background
- An Unequal Contest: Diori Hamani and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
- Seyni Kountché and the Ephemeral First Uranium Boom
- Uranium and the Tuareg
- The End of the French Exclusive Preserve and the Bursting in of China
- Allocating Mining Licenses: New Income
- Conclusion: Toward a Second Uranium Boom?