29 Sep 2005

Opposition to planned nickel mine in south of New Caledonia grows

8:26 pm on 29 September 2005

A newly formed organisation called Cauger is campaigning to stop the building of one of two nickel mines on New Caledonia.

A spokesman, George Mandaoue, says whilst they support the Falconbridge project in the north of the territory where the majority of the kanak people live, they are opposed to the Southern Goro Inco Nickel project.

Mr Mandaoue, who is a member of the customary senate, says they are taking the Canadian Inco company and the president of the southern province to court over the legality of the authorisation for the Goro mine.

He says an influx of the anticipated thousands of workers on the Goro project would be bad news for local people.

"We don't have enough money for our people now, and if we have more people, New Caledonia won't have money for what people need for the future...schools, about health, about public services."

Senator George Mandaoue of Cauger