4 Feb 2005

New Caledonia firm appeals to French state in roadblock row

2:17 pm on 4 February 2005

French authorities in New Caledonia are being asked to intervene to lift a Kanak roadblock targeting a mining company.

The action by the Rheebu Nuu Committee on the road to the Goro Nickel project is now in its fourth day.

The Committee says Goro Nickel has failed to live up to promises on environmental protection, but the company says it can't act when the activists' demands aren't specific.

A spokeswoman for the Goro Nickel project, Catherine Guillaume says the activists don't have the backing of their tribal leaders.

"The customary authorities of the south are completely against this blockade and made an assessment yesterday about this, and are very worried that the situation, and the future for New Caledonia in terms of economic development. And we hope this situation will, will be fixed in the next few days."

Neither the roadblock's financial impact nor how it has offset Inco's timeframe is yet known.