13 Feb 2008

New Caledonian activists promising to stop Goro plan to lay underwater pipe

4:16 pm on 13 February 2008

New Caledonian activists say they'll try to stop a Goro Nickel mining company plan to build an underwater waste disposal pipe.

Goro plans to build a 21 kilometre long underwater pipe to carry neutralised liquid mining waste for disposal into the lagoon at the Havannah channel.

This is the company's alternative plan, after an original plan to build a pipe on land could not go ahead because of protest by Kanaks.

Activists say the new pipe could harm the environment, as Jacques Boengkih explains.

"It seems that no prior study has been done and no authorisation from the government has been given. But the construction is going ahead. We know that there's a big area of stalagmites that have been discovered in 2005 by the IRD [research institute]."

Jacques Boengkih says that fact has been kept secret from the public, a claim that the IRD research institute denies.

Mr Boengkih says NGOs and environmentalists are planning a demonstration this weekend to show their disapproval with the new plan.