10 Oct 2016

New Caledonia's Koniambo says job cuts needed

8:48 am on 10 October 2016

New Caledonia's Koniambo nickel plant says jobs have to be cut in the face of the slump of commodity prices.

An aerial view taken on September 22, 2015 in Voh, in North Province, New Caledonia shows the Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) metallurgical plant belonging to Glencore and Societe miniere du Sud Pacifique.

The Koniambo Nickel plant in North Province, New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

The company, KNS, announced last week that 140 positions would be dis-established - 50 of them affecting New Caledonians.

Its chief executive has been in talks with unions, telling them that there was no other option to survive given the competition from Indonesia.

Marc Boissonneault told a media conference that he hoped the Glencore investors, who are key stakeholders, could help return the plant to profitability by 2018.

The job cuts are expected to be carried out within the next month.

Paris considers the Koniambo plant to be a pillar of its policy to rebalance the territory's economy by developing the poorer mainly Kanak northern province.

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