5 Jun 2006

March against Goro Nickel in New Caledonia planned for today

9:32 am on 5 June 2006

A march is planned in New Caledonia today to express opposition to the two-billion US dollar Goro nickel project in the territory's south.

The march has been called by the Kanak Caugern group which is concerned about the environmental impact of the project.

Two month ago, the Kanak Rheebu Nuu group caused 10 million US dollars in damage to equipment and installations at the site, prompting tighter security by French police.

The pro-independence FLNKS movement has meanwhile urged the public to ignore the protest call, saying the planned action is aimed at manipulating public opinion.

In a statement, it has hit out at the Rheebu Nuu leader, Raphael Mapou, saying he was the personal mining consultant of the former provincial president, Jacques Lafleur, when the investment deal for Goro was signed with its parent company, Inco, in Canada.