Goviex starts lender due diligence for Madadouela project

URANIUM development company Goviex said on Monday it had started lender due diligence for its Madaouela project in Niger. SLR Consulting would act on behalf of prospective lenders.

Lenders will evaluate environmental and social risks of Madaouela and ensure compliance with regulations required for project financing, said Goviex.

Prospective financiers including government backed institutions such as export credit agencies and development finance institutions together with commercial banks have submitted expressions of interest worth $200m in finance.

This represents the next step in building the $343m project following completion of the firm’s bankable due diligence in 2021.

Goviex’s plans for Madadouela were rocked in July when General Abdourahamane Tiani ousted president Mohamed Bazoum in a military coup.

Niger’s junta subsequently kicked out French troops and severed security pacts with the European Union. The move left Western allies concerned Niger could become a new foothold for Russia in the region, according to a report by Reuters.

Goviex said Niger’s mining sector had a long-standing stability. “Niger has been a pro-mining country, and despite changes in regime, has maintained uninterrupted uranium mining activities over the last 50 years,” it said.

“This long-standing stability in the mining sector is a testament to the country’s resilience and its commitment to development,” Goviex said.

Niger is the sixth largest producer of uranium in the world and was the largest supplier of uranium oxide to Europe last year.