14 Feb 2005

Kanak-led firm backs New Caledonian mine plan

6:57 am on 14 February 2005

The board of the Kanak-led firm SMSP says it's given its president, Andre Dang, full backing to go ahead as a partner in the construction of a new nickel mine in the north of New Caledonia.

A spokesman, Victor Tutugoro, has told the newspaper Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, that SMSP has confirmed its support for the project since the the Canadian firm Falconbridge recently announced it's going ahead, although delays are expected.

SMSP is tomorrow set to approve the latest technical feasibility study, which has represented more than a hundred and seventy million US dollars of spending since 1998.

The company says in the best scenario, it will now be able to provide the written proofs for material orders for up to 1-hundred and two million US dollars.

From an initial estimate of 1-POINT-6 billion US dollars in 1998, the projected costs for the mining operation have now swollen to 2-POINT-2 billion, mainly because of an increase in the worldwide price of steel.