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« RPT Uranium Falls 9.38% Yesterday | Main | India to Double Nuclear Energy Generation »
Tuesday
Jul102007

Chinese Uranium Company Pulls Out of Niger

The China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNEC), today pulled out of Niger and shut down its uranium prospecting operations after receiving threats from the Tuareg rebels.

Chinese Uranium Company Pulls Out of Niger

Apparently, All the Chinese have left the site and arrived at Ingall (100 km south of Agadez) with their prospecting equipment and a major military escort.

This pullout comes shortly after a Chinese national was kidnapped on Friday by the rebel movement. The movement, called the Movement of Niger People for Justice has called for an immediate end to all mining in the North of Niger and claims that “No foreigner will be safe” until their demands are met.

We do not know who is “right” and who is “wrong” in these conflicts and it is not our policy to take sides. However we do not see how shutting down mining operations will help Niger as a country. No mining means no companies making money, which means no taxes being paid, which means no money for the people of Niger. Also, these violent actions by the rebels discourage investment in the country and so its economy will struggle to prosper. We do not invest in areas like Niger exclusively for this reason, political uncertainty makes investors nervous and so many refuse to put their hard earned cash into such places.

No matter how great the project may be, we simply do not think it is worth risking our money in unstable regions of the world. In fact, if the story is spectacular, then that is even less reason to put your money into it as it will just be more tempting for government to nationalise or rebels to targets.

Stick to politically “safe” countries and you take a great deal of risk out of your investment.

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Reader Comments (2)

I like your comment that we cannot know who is right or wrong in these situations. This is true, and it applies to almost any situation, as we cannot know the cause and effect in the future. It may be a good thing or a bad thing.

However, it will have an impact on the Uranium price if supply from Niger is curtailed or stopped; this is of interest to investors in uranium stocks. The Chinese are taking the matter seriously and I imagine they were in Niger with the understanding they would be protected. They moved out swiftly and it will be interesting to see if they ever return. So, let's see how this will impact the spot price, and ultimately, the stock prices. Maybe we will see that $200/lb. milestone yet.
Bob

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterstoneygulch

My question is where do you consider politically safe? With the Aussies placing a 40% on mining without any warning nor consultation just where is safe.

British Columbia bans uranium exploration and mining as the tree huggers don't like it without warning, consultation etc.

From where I sit there is nowhere that is politically safe unless you have a military strong man in your pocket?

I sure don't trust that meathead in the White House.

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertsunami

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