13 Dec 2005

New Caledonian congress president urges Eramet to stop legal moves over Koniambo

2:40 pm on 13 December 2005

The president of New Caledonia's congress, Harold Martin, has urged the French conglomerate Eramet to abandon its legal bid to stop any possible transfer of the Koniambo ore.

A Paris court is to hear Eramet's urgent bid as Falconbridge of Canada is said to be ready to build the northern project at a cost of more than 2 billion US dollars.

Mr Martin has written to the head of Eramet, telling him that nothing justifies the procedure chosen by his company.

Eramet says it fears that huge Koniambo deposit will be transferred to Falconbridge and its partner, SMSP, without there being a commitment to build the northern province' s nickel smelter.