7 Jul 2008

New Caledonia's Leroux opposed to provinces' SLN initiative

1:57 pm on 7 July 2008

The leader of New Caledonia's biggest party, Didier Leroux, has warned against the provinces' push to win control of the SLN nickel company.

The three provinces want New Caledonia to assume a dominant role in the territory's biggest private sector employer which is a subsidiary of the French Eramet concern.

But Mr Leroux of the Future Together Party says the proposal is dangerous as it could compromise SLN's five-year plan to invest more than 600 million US dollars.

Mr Leroux, who is a former mining minister, says the initiative could also affect the confidence of investors who are needed to exploit the territory's mining wealth.