Welcome to Niger: the mineral giant that is dirt poor, February 11

11 Feb 2014

A barren, vast state on the edge of the Sahara desert, Arlit in the northern Niger produces and exports three-quarters of France’s nuclear power supply and is one of the world's largest ore producers. Despite its mineral riches, the Republic of Niger remains one of the poorest countries, with more than 60 per cent of its 17 million people living on less than US$1 a day. The mining minister himself, based in the capital of Niamey, sees the irony: “For 40 years, Niger has been one of the world’s largest uranium producers, but it’s still one of the poorest countries on the planet … You see the contrast?” Photos: Reuters