21 Apr 2006

Inco to stay in New Caledonia's nickel business for 100 years

1:12 pm on 21 April 2006

The Canadian nickel company, Inco, says it expects to be active in New Caledonia for at least 100 years.

The company's CEO, Scott Hand, made the comment to a shareholders' meeting in Toronto, adding that he expects work on its Goro site in New Caledonia's south to resume on Monday.

Work has been suspended for three weeks because of an attack on the construction site by Kanak activists concerned about the environmental impact.

Mr Hand says the company plans to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel and up to 5,000 tonnes of cobalt a year, with reserves allowing for a future increase in output.

He says the company is building links with the local community in the spirit and expectation to be there for more than a century.

Goro is the world's biggest nickel project worth nearky two billion US dollars.