On December 4, 2013, AREVA met with representatives of OXFAM to establish a dialogue with the NGO and to better understand their concerns regarding mining activities in Niger.
AREVA presented the facts and figures which objectively demonstrate both the economical and environmental conditions of the uranium mining operations. The balanced nature of the solid partnership with Niger has been demonstrated for more than 40 years. Since the creation of the companies Somair and Cominak, over 80% of revenues (taxes and dividends) generated by mining operations has been returned to the State of Niger, compared to less than 20% for AREVA and the other partners.
AREVA also pointed out to OXFAM that the shareholders, including the State of Niger, have expressed the desire to ensure that the mines remain profitable and continue development. Currently, the Somair and Cominak mines, as well as the Imouraren project, account for more than 5,300 jobs and more than 100 million euros of purchases made each year with local businesses. The ongoing discussions regarding the agreements are being conducted with this objective for sustainable development.
AREVA also reaffirmed its continued commitment to financial transparency. The group is a founding member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Somair, Cominak, and Imouraren SA participate in the local EITI process and declare tax payments, mining rights, and taxes on profits from mining operations.
AREVA reiterates its desire for a sincere and impartial dialogue, and this meeting provided an opportunity to exchange different views. However, the group regrets the ambivalent nature of OXFAM’s approach, which launched a petition against AREVA without having taken the time to listen to AREVA’s side.