26 Sep 2007

New Caledonia's Goro Nickel in ongoing talks with Rheebu Nuu opponents

2:49 pm on 26 September 2007

The New Caledonian Goro Nickel mining company says negotiations with its major project opponent, the Kanak Rheebu Nuu group, are ongoing.

The 3.2 billion US dollar project has seen delays, cost blowouts and opposition by the local group, Rheebu Nuu, on environmental grounds and over royalties.

An international peace council, Khredda, has mediated between the local government, the company and Rheebu Nuu since earlier this year.

Last year, Rheebu Nuu activist vandalised the construction site and caused 10 million US dollars in damage .

A spokesperson for Goro Nickel, Catherine Guillaume, says they are still in talks.

"We have two different kinds of discussions, the first one is the mediation with Kreddha, which is still going on. This seems to be progressing well. The second kind of discussion is regular meetings between Rheebu Nuu and Goro Nickel over problems that are not dealt with by the Kreddha mediation."

Catherine Guillaume says these negotiations are very important for the company.