26 Oct 2009

Environmentalists looking for independent review on New Caledonia nickel plant

8:25 pm on 26 October 2009

An activist in New Caledonia says there are still concerns about the environmental impact of the Vale-Inco nickel project.

The nickel plant, that is being built near a UNESCO World Heritage site, is now expected to begin production in January next year.

The plant's launch has been delayed several times due to technical problems, including a huge spill at its sulphuric acid plant in April.

That plant is being redesigned and Jacques Boengkih, says local groups are asking for an independent review once that is done.

"For the local NGOs, nothing has been done properly. And they're putting pressure on the government to give the OK only when they have the insurance that all pollution sources have been taken care of."

Jacques Boengkih says the NGOs doubt the company will be able to meet the January deadline.