23 Sep 2016

New Caledonia's Koniambo plant plans job cuts

5:15 pm on 23 September 2016
An aerial view taken on September 22, 2015 in Voh, in North Province, New Caledonia shows the Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) metallurgical plant belonging to Glencore and Societe miniere du Sud Pacifique.

The Koniambo Nickel plant in North Province, New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

Job losses are looming in New Caledonia's nickel processing sector as the slump in the price of the commodity bites.

The Koniambo plant in the territory's north is reviewing 140 positions, 50 of them held by locals.

The plant also suffered setbacks with problems with its furnaces.

In February, the president of Koniambo, Marc Boissonneault, said the low level of production of late was not economically viable, making it a challenge for 2016 to cut costs.

Paris considers the Koniambo plant to be a pillar of its policy to rebalance the territory's economy by developing the poorer mainly Kanak northern province.