2 Apr 2010

New Caledonia government deems nickel crisis over

9:51 am on 2 April 2010

The New Caledonian authorities have found that the crisis in the nickel sector is over and decided to stop the support measures adopted last year.

Noumea's daily newspaper says the economic downturn last year prompted the government to help in particular small miners and transport firms on the main island's east coast.

But the paper says exports of raw materials to the Yabulu plant neat the Australian city of Townsville have now resumed.

It says the Vale Inco plant in the south is gearing up production this year as well amid a substantial surge in the world nickel price to above 24,000 US dollars a tonne.

Nickel is a key export product for the territory which in two years is to have three major processing plants in operation.