14 Feb 2005

Three provinces in New Caledonia sign up to nickel deal

12:28 pm on 14 February 2005

The three provinces of New Caledonia have agreed to acquire a 10 per cent stake in Goro Nickel, the metallurgical unit of Canadian mining giant Inco.

The Southern province president, Philippe Gomes, Loyalty islands president, Neko Hnepeune, and Northern province vice-president, Victor Tutugoro, signed the statutes for the South Caledonian mining participation company SPMSC.

SPMSC will buy back the 9.71 per cent Goro Nickel stake held by the state Office of Geological and Mining Research, allowing the provinces to hold a total stake of 10 per cent.

Inco is building a factory in southern New Caledonia, which is due to go into production by 2007 with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,000 tonnes of cobalt.