18 Jul 2005

France ready to increase financial aid to mine project in northern New Caledonia

9:42 am on 18 July 2005

France is ready to increase its financial contribution to the Koniambo nickel mine in northern New Caledonia.

The overseas minister, Francois Baroin, made the announcement after talks between the Canadian mining company, Falconbridge, and the president of New Caledonia's northern province, Paul Neaoutyine.

Mr Baroin says the meeting enabled both sides to understand the task facing Falconbridge, given what he called an exceptional level of support from the state.

The minister says Koniambo is important for the 'readjustment' of New Caledonia, where the northern Kanak areas are less developed than the south.