The industrial sector in Niger is in a constant state of development. In addition to the processing of raw materials from the mines, mainly agricultural raw materials are processed.
According to hyperrestaurant, Niger is fourth or fourth in the world. fifth largest producer of uranium. Most of the uranium ore is extracted in open-cast mining and enriched for export. The leading company is the French AREVA; The Chinese and other international consortia have entered the business intensively for several years. Based on the initiative of several Nigerien non-governmental organizations, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH Commission nationale des droits de l’homme du Niger) is currently investigating the effects and consequences OF uranium mining in the north of the country. 700,000 people are affected by the dubious mining conditions at the heavily criticized uranium mining site in Arlit. In addition, there are the other mines Azelik, Imouraren, etc., which are under construction. China is currently building 26 new nuclear power plants for which the state needs uranium. A 50% increase in uranium demand is expected over the next 25 years. Fukushima only generated a short-term decline in demand.
In April 2013, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to Niger on his West Africa trip, where he hoped to be able to sign a uranium treaty, but had to leave without one.
The boom in the 1970’s, which promised Niger an economic upswing, ebbed when the uranium price fell on the world market. The French company AREVA, which held the monopoly in uranium mining in Niger for many years, will have to come to terms with Chinese competition in the future. In Azelik’s mining consortium, China holds the largest share, while Niger holds 33%. The ” World Nuclear Association ” provides an overview of the various uranium mines in Niger. Niger is now the fourth and fifth largest uranium exporter of the world. The establishment of the Azelik mine hits an area of cultural and historical importance. The effects of the exploitation of raw material resources in Niger primarily affect the nomadic livestock owners, in whose traditional pastures the mining rights for uranium were granted. These are the reasons for the renewed uprisings of the Tuareg, who demand returns from the uranium income for their regions. In the future there will probably be clashes between the local population and the uranium companies. The completion of the ‘Code Pastoral’ is currently suspended, which is supposed to ensure the rights of the nomads in the pasture zone, their water, soil and grazing rights. Due to the considerable water requirement for uranium processing, the wells in Ighazar, a large grazing zone
“Who will benefit from Nigeria’s uranium?” The question is asked in the press when it comes to AREVA entering into new contracts for the use of Nigeria’s uranium. Little remains of AREVA’s uranium mining in Niger, except for contaminated spoil, material, air, soil, water and people. Several reports emphasize that the work in and around the uranium mines is not without health consequences, but the company denies this.
In addition to the Agadem oil field, oil was found in the north-east of the country, in the Niger-Algeria border region – especially under the cultural-historical plateau of Djado. In 2008 the Chinese CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) had against seven other energy companies (Petronas, Sonatrach, Burren Energy, South Africa Energetic, ATI Petroleum, Tullow and Trans African Energy) that wanted to exploit the oil in the Agadem region, get the contract.
Since 2011 belongs Niger thus to the oil-exporting countries. The country’s first refinery opened in Zinder, the country’s second largest city, about 900 km east of the capital Niamey. The first barrels of oil flowed on December 1, 2011. The Chinese company CNPC holds 60% and Niger 40% of the shares. The crude oil is pumped to Zinder by means of a pipeline from Agadem (Diffa region). ONGs are pressing for the Niger-China treaties to be re-examined. In September 2019, CNPC signed a contract to build a pipeline from Agadem to the Benin coast. The pipeline started in 2020 and should be completed in 2022.
Niger imports oil from Nigeria for its own electricity supply.
As part of the African Union’s economic development program – NEPAD – a gas pipeline from Nigeria through Niger to Algeria is planned to transport gas to Europe. The expansion of the pipeline is a long-term project. According to planning, the first gas should have reached Europe in 2015. However, there are also voices who consider the project to have failed due to the prevailing conditions on the African continent.