In the district of AKOUTA in Niger, world-class uranium deposits were ascertained as the result of exploration works carried out jointly by OURD and the French Nuclear Agency (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique , CEA) from August 1970 to October 1972.
Following a feasibility study on the possible development, as an underground mine, of the uranium deposit of AKOUTA, the Compagnie Minière d'AKOUTA (COMINAK) was established and incorporated in Niger by three parties, OURD, CEA (presently Orano Mining) and the Niger government (presently Société de Patrimoine des Mines du Niger - SOPAMIN-SA), on the 12th of June 1974, to which Empresa Nacional del Uranio, S.A. (ENUSA) of Spain joined on July 22, 1975.
The construction works both surface and underground, for the development of the mine, started in June 1974, and the tunnel, reaching the ore body, was completed in February 1978.
In April 1978, mining operations started and the ore processing plant produced the first uranium concentrates (yellow cake) at the end of August of the same year.
The Company initiated sales activities in October 1978 and has been supplying its whole share of uranium concentrates to the Japanese utilities since that time.