Nuclear Monitor July 2007/ vis Nirs
Niger is currently hitting the international headlines. Nomadic rebels carried out a series of raids
on military targets and mining interests in the northern region of Niger and have killed 15
soldiers. According to market analysts their fight against the exploration of uranium could be a
potential squeeze on world uranium supply.

(658.5819) Laka Foundation - Nomadic
rebels in Niger have warned all foreign
uranium and oil companies to end their
operations unless a deal is struck with
the central government under President
Mamadou Tandja to give the rebels a
larger share in revenues. If these
demands are not met soon, the rebels
have threatened to target international
operations and possibly kidnap
operators. Statements made by
representatives of the Niger Movement
for Justice (MNJ), made up largely of
Tuareg and other nomadic tribes
indicated that main targets will be
Chinese and Western firms. In the past
months the MNJ has carried out a
series of raids on military targets and
mining interests in the northern region
around Agadez. Late June it killed 15
soldiers and took dozens hostage
during a raid on a remote army outpost.
In the latest attack, on 4 July, the rebels
attacked a compound 22 miles (35 km)
northwest of Agadez of state-controlled
coal mining and power company
SONICHAR, which powers Niger's two
uranium firms. The MNJ says it
launched its campaign in retaliation for
arbitrary arrests and killings of civilians
in the north of Niger, where it says 253
civilians have disappeared after a wave
of detentions by government forces.
Since 2006, a number of Chinese
companies have been operating in
Niger, awarded licenses to explore for
uranium. The Chinese group is being
led by a uranium prospecting company
floated in Niger by China Nuclear
Engineering & Construction (Group)
Corporation, called Sino-U, currently
searching for uranium at two sites,
Madaouela and Teguidda, in the Agadez
region, about 600 miles (1,000
kilometers) northeast of the capital
Niamey. The MNJ accuses Chinese
companies of arming the Niger
government in their fight against the
rebels. Official warnings have been
made and Sino-U deputy general
manager Zhang Guohua have already
been kidnapped and was set free in the
night from 10 to 11 July.
............Uranium price .......
For the first time since May 2001, the spot uranium price dropped twice in two consecutive weeks.
The TradeTech's Spot Price Indicator dropped to US$133 per pound U3O8, a decrease of US$2.00 (1.5 euro) from the June
30th Exchange Value. Nuclear Market Review(NMR) reported current active spot supply rose to more than 3.2 million pounds
U3O8 equivalent. The active supply/demand ratio also rose - to 3.5 to the advantage of future uranium buyers. This confirms
a reversal of the supply/demand ratio which favored sellers in late 2006 and early 2007. Last October, Cameco Corp's (CCJ)
Cigar Lake flooding drove a rush of buyers to the spot uranium market. After a relatively quiet period, this past winter, Energy
Resources of Australia announced part of their Ranger uranium operations had been flooded by a cyclone. Both events
triggered a buying frenzy. Market analysts are now speculating that the next potential squeeze on uranium supply is not
caused by nature, but caused by "terrorism". The world's seventh and eighth uranium producing mines are found in the
Republic of Niger: the underground Akouta and the open pit Arlit. Together, they produced 3434 tons of uranium in 2006,
according to the World Nuclear Association. This accounted for more than eight percent of the world's mining production last