28 Aug 2006

Two meetings to discuss mulit million Goro Nickel project in New Caledonia

5:39 am on 28 August 2006

Two public meetings have been called in New Caledonia for today and tomorrow to discuss the two-billion US dollar Goro Nickel project in the territory's south which continues to be faced by Kanak opposition.

Two Kanak groups, Rheebu Nuu and Caugern have issued an ultimatum for all construction work to cease by September the 24th, claiming the planned plant will pollute the lagoon.

Today's meeting has been called by the government of the southern province and tomorrow's meeting by Caugern and environmentalist groups.

The head of Rheebu Nuu, Raphael Mapou, says the Goro Nickel project amounts to no more and no less than economic pillage, adding that it has to benefit the territory and safeguard the environment.

In April, Rheebu Nuu activists vandalised 10 million Us dollars worth of equipment and installations at the Goro site, prompting its closure for three weeks.