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Areva to slash production, staff at Somair, Cominak uranium mines, union says

The Somair open cut and Cominak underground uranium mines in Niger, held by Areva SA spinoff Areva NewCo have decided to slash output and reduce staff as uranium prices continue to fall, Reuters reported Oct. 11, citing a local union leader.

The French state-owned company holds a 63.60% stake in Somair and 34% stake in Cominak.

Citing Cominak's managing director, the head of the Arlit section of the Synamines union, Amadou Miou, said production at the mine will be reduced to 1,100 tonnes from 1,400 tonnes beginning in January.

Somair's managing director said 190 jobs will be cut, with a freeze on contracts for 500 contractors.

In late July, the French state subscribed to a €2.5 billion capital increase in NewCo, completing a €4.5 billion capital injection as part of a complex restructuring of the nuclear fuel giant.