6 Dec 2005

Kanaks plan demonstration for nickel project in New Caledonia capital

5:29 pm on 6 December 2005

New Caledonia's Kanak leaders are planning a demonstration in Noumea on Saturday in support of the northern mining project.

The project has been described as a priority by the French president to rebalance the terrritory's economy.

But now the project is at risk of not being developped according to plan as France and Canada's mining company Falconbridge disagree over the terms for the project.

A Kanak activist, Jacques Boengkih, says he expects about 4,000 to 5,000 people to take part in the demonstration in support of the northerns project.

"The government of New Caledonia did not react to the blockades of the SLN boundaries during the three weeks [of strikes]. So we do not expect much from them. But of course, we expect from France some new attitudes. What people are asking for is that SMSP is given the means to start the project."