15 Nov 2007

Eramet proposes more nickel plants in New Caledonia

1:22 pm on 15 November 2007

New Caledonia's only nickel producer says it would like to build another one or two nickel plants in the territory.

The head of the French company Eramet, whose subsidiary SLN runs a plant in Noumea, says new technology has been developped that makes the mining of poor quality ore viable.

Patrick Buffet says a new such plant is being built in Indonesia and he would like to expand operations in New Caledonia in view of the record high demand for nickel and the top price being paid.

The initiative is to be discussed with New Caledonia's provincial leaders.

It comes as two multi-billion dollar nickel projects, at Goro and at Koniambo, are to be completed over the next few years.