8 Apr 2016

Solutions sought to New Caledonia nickel crisis

3:35 pm on 8 April 2016

Reports from France say talks have been held between the government and the Eramet mining conglomerate about moves to sustain New Caledonia's SLN nickel company.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

SLN, which is the territory's oldest smelter, is a subsidiary of Eramet which have both been hit by a slump in commodity prices, with SLN alone reported to be losing millions of dollars each month.

There have been suggestions of a capital increase at Eramet after the French prime minister Manuel Valls vowed to support New Caledonia's nickel sector.

He is due in Noumea in three weeks amid clamour by local politicians to save jobs at risk because of the nickel crisis.

New Caledonia's daily quotes a local senior politician, Pierre Frogier, as saying the state should take control of Eramet-SLN.