10 Sep 2007

Koniambo boss welcomes New Caledonia's SMSP's nickel plans

2:32 pm on 10 September 2007

The president of the Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia welcomes the decision by its major shareholder, SMSP, to approve the new version of the project.

New Caledonia's SMSP has given its final approval to the latest version of a plan to build a nickel plant in the north of the territory at an estimated cost of three billion US dollars.

Last year, the minority stakeholder, Xstrata of Switzerland, commissioned a review into the project because of its high cost.

The president of Koniambo and general manager of Xstrata, Michel Rioux, says the latest development is positive.

"I can only be happy that after the Koniambo Nickel board approved the conclusion of the renewal programme, that now SMSP approved it as well. The board of Xstrata will have the opportunity to acknowledge the conclusion of the renewal programme."

Michel Rioux says the board of Xstrata is expected to announce its decision next month.