China Eximbank provides RMB 650 million government concessional loan for Azelik Uranium Mine Project (Linked to #58973)
Constant 2017 USD
Funding agency [Type]
Export-Import Bank of China [State-owned Policy Bank]
Industry, mining, construction (Code: 320)
On 17 March, 2009, the Chinese Government and the Government of Niger signed a loan framework agreement for the Azelik Uranium Mine Project (See: NOTE D’INFORMATION 3e trimestre 2009 N° 19). Then, in April 2011, China Eximbank and Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger (SOPAMIN) -- a Nigerian public holding company that manages the Nigerien Government’s holdings in mining companies operating in the country — signed an RMB 650 million government concessional loan (GCL) for the Azelik Uranium Mine Project (See: Niger-Chine : Une coopération économique et commerciale en plein essor and NOTE D’INFORMATION 3e trimestre 2009 N° 19). This loan carried the following terms: 20 year maturity. 5 year grace period, and 2% interest rate (See: Niger-Chine : Une coopération économique et commerciale en plein essor). The proceeds from this loan were used to finance the Government of Niger's 33% share of the construction costs for the development of Teguidda mine at the Azelik uranium deposit (See: China extends Niger $95m loan for uranium project). In addition to the development of the uranium mine, this project supported the construction of two coal-fired power plants and a hydrometallurgy plant.China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation was responsible for the design of the project, and Sinohydro was responsible for the implementation of the project (See: First uranium from Niger mine). Trial operation of the mine began on 10 December, 2010, with the first barrel of yellow cake uranium being produced on 30 December, 2010 (See: First uranium from Niger mine). The mine is operated by a joint venture (see ID#58973), known as la Société des Mines d'Azelik (SONIMA), which was established in July 2006 (See: First uranium from Niger mine). It is co-owned by Chinese Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (CNIUC) (37.2%), the Nigerien Government (33%), the Chinese investment company Zxjoy Technology and Trade (24.8%), Korea Resources (4%), and Trendfield Energy and Resources (1%) (See: African Uranium: Near-Term Projects May Boost Production and Chinese firms sign 140 mln USD uranium project in Niger).
- The French project title is le projet d'exploitation d'uranium de la Société des Mines d'Azelik (SONIMA). - The Chinese project title is 尼日尔依姆铀矿项目 or 尼日尔阿泽里克铀矿项目.- In the database of Chinese loan commitments that SAIS-CARI released in July 2020, it identifies this loan as carrying a 1% interest rate. AidData relies on the interest rate (2%) that is reported by the Chinese Government and the Government of Niger.
Number of official sources
Number of unofficial sources
Receiving agencies [Type]
Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger (SOPAMIN) [State-owned Company]
Implementing agencies [Type]
China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (SinoU) [State-owned Company]; Government of Niger [Government Agency]; SinoHydro [State-owned Company]; Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger (SOPAMIN) [State-owned Company]