19 Apr 2006

New Caledonia's Goro company pins hope on FLNKS to end nickel dispute

3:29 pm on 19 April 2006

New Caledonia's Goro Nickel company says it is optimistic that the pro-independence FLNKS movement and the Southern province will be successful mediators in the conflict between the company and Rheebu Nuu Kanak activists.

FLNKS says it started mediating talks with Rheebu Nuu yesterday, more than two weeks after Rheebu Nuu activists caused millions of US dollars in damages on the Goro Nickel site.

Goro's spokesperson, Catherine Guillaume, says the site is still unsafe, but the company is hoping to start the project soon.

"Different parties have started to try to talk to Rheebu Nuu, the local party called FLNKS and the Southern province and many people like that. So we are optimistic that this initiative will be successful."

Ms Guillaume says nobody has been injured and nothing has been damaged in yesterday's attack on the site.

Police say they have cleared all blockades.