Workers Halt Production at Chinese Uranium Mine in Niger
From Mining Weekly
Workers went on a 72-hour strike at a China National Nuclear Corp uranium mine (Sino-U) in northern Niger, demanding better wages and bonus payments, trade union officials said on Tuesday.
Boubacar Mamane, a spokesman for the Syntramines labour union, said 680 workers have downed tools for a three-day strike, which could be extended to an open-ended work stoppage if their demands were not met.
“Management refused pay our allowances and production bonus despite having promised to do so last year. If nothing is done, we will launch an unlimited strike,” Mamane said.
Neither Sino-U officials nor the government of Niger, which owns 33% of the mine, were available to comment.
Sino-U and its partners hold majority stake at the 700 t/y Somina mine, which began production in 2011 and is expected to ramp up output to 2 500 t a year in 2015.
The Sahel nation in West Africa is the top supplier of uranium to France’s nuclear power industry. It produces about 4 000 t/y of uranium from mines operated by French nuclear giant Areva.
Areva’s Imouraren mine is expected to more than double current production when it comes online in 2014 with expected output of 5 000 t/y.
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