10 Dec 2005

New Caledonia northern province reports Falconbridge to pay for whole nickel plan

8:16 am on 10 December 2005

The president of the northern province in New Caledonia, Paul Neaoutyine, says the Canadian company Falconbridge will go ahead with a nickel plant and finance the entire construction itself.

Mr Neaoutyine has told a news conference in Paris the move is pending a decision by the local nickel company SMSP whether to go into partnership with Falconbridge.

The project faces a deadline of December 31st by which US$100 million has to be committed by Falconbridge for it and the majority stakeholder in New Caledonia to get a massive and valuable ore deposit.

The uncertainty has caused disquiet among the Kanak population and a mass rally is planned for Noumea today in support of the nickel project.