25 Nov 2016

France assists New Caledonia's Koniambo plant

2:50 pm on 25 November 2016

France has confirmed tax concessions to avert a closure of New Caledonia's Koniambo nickel plant.

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 prime minister Manuel Valls confirmed to the president of New Caledonia's northern province Paul Neaoutyne that the power plant for the Koniambo smelter will benefit from concessions worth more than $US200 million.

Mr Neaoutyne told Radio France that he had been reassured by his talks in Paris which also included meetings with Glencore as one of the key investors in the multi-billion US dollar plant.

He said Glencore will stay after earlier casting doubt on its commitment to the plant which is widely seen as essential for the northern province's economic future.

The French state has also helped the territory's two other nickel producers, SLN and Vale, citing the sectors significance for the territory's economy.

The drop of the nickel price caused losses for all smelters but in recent weeks, there have been signs of a recovery.

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