Windhoek - French nuclear group Areva plans to invest $750 million (R6.02 billion) to create the world's largest uranium mine in Namibia, the company said Wednesday.

Namibia's mining ministry granted the license on Tuesday for Trekkopje, about 300 kilometres west of the capital Windhoek, said Iain McPherson, manager of Areva's local subsidiary UraMin.

Construction for the project would begin immediately, he said.

"Production is planned towards the end of 2009," he added. "We will process 100 000 tonnes of ore per day to extract about six to eight million pounds of uranium per annum."

Trekkopje will be the largest uranium mine in the world, McPherson said, creating jobs for some 800 people. The mine will have a lifespan of some nine years.

Areva, which claims to be the world's second largest uranium producer, bought UraMin in September for $1.9 billion as part of a composite deal worth $12 billion with state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC).