20 Oct 2004

Canadian company to go ahead with nickel extraction in New Caledonia

11:21 am on 20 October 2004

The world's second largest nickel producer has said it WILL go ahead with developing its plant in New Caledonia.

It is the biggest industrial project in the south Pacific region.

The Canadian company, Inco, will go ahead with mining and extracting nickel at Goro in the south of the French territory.

The one point eight five billion US dollar project had been on hold because of spiralling overheads.

The Inco chairman and CEO Scott Hand says a review into the operations has been completed and a cost-effective new plan has been worked out.

Mr Hand says new building work will begin early next year.

Inco has this morning already announced a third quarter profit of a hundred and 48 million US dollars.

The president of New Caledonia's southern province, Philippe Gomes, says the project brings tremendous hope to the territory.

Inco says it is working with local communities to ensure the project has a positive impact right from the start.