Ceremony marks start of underground work at Dasa

08 November 2022

Underground development has officially begun at the Dasa uranium project in Niger, which is expected to begin producing yellowcake for delivery to utilities early in 2025.

More than 800 people witnessed the blast (Image: Global Atomic)

Dasa is a high-grade uranium deposit 105 km south of the established uranium mining town of Arlit. First discovered in 2010, the project is 90%-owned by Toronto-listed Global Atomic Corporation and will operate under the company's Niger mining subsidiary SOMIDA (Société Minière de Dasa SA). SOMIDA is 80%-owned by Global Atomic, with the remainder owned by the government of Niger.

More than 800 people, including the Prime Minister of Niger, ministers, members of parliament, regional representatives, area and village chiefs, business representatives and others, attended a ceremony to mark the opening blast at the mine on 5 November. The opening blast - inside the box-cut which was completed earlier this year - is a "significant milestone" towards yellowcake production, the company said.

Global Atomic President and CEO Stephen Roman specifically acknowledged the support of senior government leaders from the Republic of Niger including Prime Minister Mahamadou Ouhoumoudo, as well as senior leaders from the Agadez Region. "We look forward to a long-term partnership in the development and operation of our outstanding new uranium mine which will benefit all Nigeriens," he said.

The opening blast took place inside the Dasa box-cut, which was completed earlier this year (Image: Global Atomic)
Dasa will deliver "considerable benefits" to Niger and for the people of the Agadez Region in particular, the company said. These include direct employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities and indirect employment through local supplies to the project, as well as employment opportunities for experienced mine workers displaced by the closing of the Cominak uranium mine at Akouta, which closed in 2021 after over 40 years of operations.

Earlier this year, a syndicate of North American financial institutions including Canadian state-owned export credit agency Export Development Canada was set up to finance the Dasa project, and in August, Global Atomic announced it had secured a uranium sale offer for output from the mine from an unnamed North American utility, for 2.1 million pounds U3O8 (808 tU) over six years beginning in 2025. This would represent about 7% of the project's expected production over the period.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News