3 Mar 2008

Standoff over waste pipe from new nickel plant in New Caledonia continues

8:07 pm on 3 March 2008

The construction of a Goro Nickel mine waste disposal pipe in New Caledonia is still on hold amid opposition by environmental and Kanak activists.

Goro last week suspended the building of a 21 kilometre long underwater waste pipe amid complaints it would cause environmental damage.

The company denies this and is planning further talks with the pipe's opponents.

But our Noumea correspondent, Claudine Wery, says no progress has been made.

"So far these talks did not take place. The protestors have been received by the high commissioner last week. This morning, they were with the Southern Province, but so far, no talks have been engaged with Vale."

Claudine Wery says the construction standstill may delay the mine's projected start up, scheduled for the end of this year.