15 Nov 2006

Ruling on injunction on New Caledonia Goro project delayed

1:23 pm on 15 November 2006

A court in Paris has deferred a ruling on whether to issue an injunction that would halt the New Caledonian Goro Nickel project.

The court had said last month that a decision would be announced yesterday but it has now delayed its announcement by a week.

It is not known what has caused the delay.

The New Caledonian Kanak group, Rheebu Nuu, and 21 individuals have taken the action in France to stop the project, saying it is illegal and will cause serious pollution.

Goro Nickel's deputy general manager, Jeff Zweig, told Bloomberg news agency last month that the application for an injunction was without merit and that his company had the construction permits and the authorisation to proceed.

Goro Nickel's lawyer says stopping work on the two-billion US dollar project would prompt the lay off of about 3,000 workers and cause the demise of sub-contracting firms.

Meanwhile, the head of Goro's new parent company is in New Caledonia.

Roger Agnelli of Brazil's CVRD is due to meet New Caledonian leaders.

CVRD is in control of the two-billion US dollar Goro project after taking over Inco of Canada for 13 billion US dollars.