21 Apr 2006

The Goro nickel company in New Caledonia says work will resume next week

10:18 am on 21 April 2006

The company running a large nickel mine being built in New Caledonia says it will resume work on the site next Monday.

The mine has been closed for more than two weeks after indigenous protesters

caused 10 million US dollars of damage to equipment.

The head of Goro Nickel, Ron Renton, says improvement in security conditions and encouragement to continue with the project have allowed the company to gradually re-start work.

Around 1,700 people are employed at the facility, one of the largest such nickel operations in the world.

The company announcement came 2 days after gendarmes removed barricades

in the streets erected by the indigenous Rheebu Nuu movement to protest the


Rheebu Nuu has complained that the site will harm the environment with the

dumping of heavy metals into nearby waters.

They have also said they want royalties from the mine, which is majority-owned by Canadian giant Inco.