26 Apr 2006

Kanak group unable to attend New Caledonia environment talks

1:37 pm on 26 April 2006

A New Caledonian Kanak activist says Rheebu Nuu is not invited to a meeting with French CEREGES researchers about a preliminary study on the environmental impacts of the Goro Nickel project.

Goro Nickel is the largest industrial project in the South Pacific with a planned investment of about two billion US dollars.

Kanak Rheebu Nuu activists are opposed to aspects of the project, because they are worried about the environmental impact it may have.

They caused millions of US dollars in damage in an attack to equipment at the mining site more than three weeks ago, which forced the company to shut down all operations for three weeks.

Talks between the stakeholders were unsuccessful, but Kanak activist, Jacques Boengkih, says Rheebu Nuu was looking forward to attending the meeting with the reasearchers.

He says Rheebu Nuu wrote a letter, asking the president of the Southern province to arrange to meet the researchers on Monday, but the response was negative.