19 Sep 2006

Slow progress in New Caledonia's talks on Goro project

1:42 pm on 19 September 2006

The Goro Nickel company in New Caledonia says progress is made very slowly in talks between the company, the local government of the southern province and the project's opponents, the Kanak Rheebu Nuu and Caugern groups.

The Goro project is the biggest industrial enterprise in the South Pacific, but faces strong opposition on mainly environmental grounds.

In April, Kanak Rheebu Nuu activists caused 10 million US dollars worth of damage at the Goro site.

Rheebu Nuu and Caugern are having ongoing talks with the Southern province and Goro Nickel, but have not reached an agreement.

Goro Nickel says all parties involved in the latest talks on Friday have accepted the suggestion of a common agreement to be signed by all roundtable parties.

But company spokesperson, Catherine Guillaume, says Goro also wants other parties to be involved in the process.

"Everybody seems around the table to agree on the fact that we should work on this kind of agreement frame. We insisted that we want to have all the involved parties signing the document, not only Rheebu Nuu and Caugern. All the other parties means the mayor of Yate, the mayor of Mont Dore, the customary authorities and associations."

Catherine Guillaume