The cessation of mining activities was decided by its Board of Directors on October 23, 2019.
COMINAK, created on June 12, 1974, has operated since 1978 the Akouta, Akola and Ebba deposits located in the Agadez region and produced approximately 75,000 tonnes of uranium from 1978 to the end of 2020. The depletion of its resources no longer allow the continuation of operational activities.
The date of March 31, 2021 marks the start of the remediation phase in the life of the mine.
Within the framework of the remediation project at the Cominak site, we undertake to engage in continuous and transparent dialogue and communication with stakeholders, to carry out remediation work that will make the site safe and non-polluting, in compliance with national standards and international guidelines, to support our employees and subcontractors in a conversion plan and in the development of eligible and viable entrepreneurial projects, and to act for a lasting, sustainable and useful social transition for the local communities.
The remediation project includes technical, social and community challenges
Technical component of the remediation plan aims to ensure lasting stability in terms of public health and safety, reduce as far as reasonably possible (ALARA principles) the residual impacts as well as the surface area of land subject to use restrictions
after the remediation.
The technical component includes the remediation of all the source terms present at the site. These mainly include underground-mine works, the mill and surface facilities, the tailings pile and the ponds.
The objective when carrying out all the remediation work will be to leave a site that is safe, healthy and non-polluting. The remediation activities will be subject to thorough environmental monitoring, which will extend for several years after the closure.
COMINAK has set up a framework for its employees that provides for additional internal and external redeployment measures in addition to the conventional, legal and regulatory provisions. This system is operational through a reclassification unit made up of dedicated HR professionals.
The different types of reclassification possible are as follows:
With over 40 years of know-how and expertise in post-mining management, Orano, which has a 34% stake in COMINAK, undertakes to provide technical support for the project, working alongside the State of Niger and the other shareholders.
Orano Mining, a member of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) , an organization dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable industry development, is actively following the ICMM’s commitments and guidance, including those on mine
Compliance with “Integrated Mine Closure: Good practice guide”
To determine compliance with ICMM good mine closure practices and standards, a gap analysis between ICMM remediation guidelines, which incorporate industry best practices, and the COMINAK remediation project was conducted in October 2019. This analysis helped define areas for improvement in the implementation and monitoring of the remediation project.
Click here to know more about the ICMM Good practice guide on mine closure
Examples of Orano’s Mining approach to remediation and redevelopment