15 Dec 2015

Investment in New Caledonia's Koniambo queried

5:00 pm on 15 December 2015

One of the key investors in New Caledonia says its involvement in the Koniambo nickel plant in the territory's north is under review.

Koniambo nickel plant

Koniambo nickel plant Photo: AFP

The head of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg, says the decision by mining companies to keep nickel operations going despite them being unprofitable is incomprehensible.

According to comments in the publication, Metal Bulletin, Mr Glasenberg has warned that his company is not married with Koniambo and it's not its style to burn cash.

This comes after the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, put pressure on Glencore to act as the nickel price has plummeted to a 12-year low.

According to the Bloomberg newswire, BlackRock, whose mining fund is invested in many large companies, questions the miners' reluctance to shut unprofitable operations.

Glencore has a 49-percent stake in the seven-billion US dollar Koniambo plant which was officially opened last year.

It is a major element in the French government's plan to rebalance New Caledonia's economy and to develop the poorer, mainly Kanak northern province.

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