5 Dec 2005

Kanaks opposed to Goro nickel water pipeline in southern New Caledonia

3:10 pm on 5 December 2005

Kanak leaders and NGOs in New Caledonia have today planned a gathering at the site in Yate in the territory's south where the Goro Nickel project is to source water for its nickel plant.

The Kanaks say the Goro Nickel company has been given the right to pump water.

But they say the developpers have no authorisation to build a pipeline from the Yate reservoir.

Meanwhile, the Kanak USTKE union is hold a public meeting tonight as preparations are under way to hold a rally in Noumea on Saturday in support of the nickel project in the mainly Kanak north.

The project is in doubt as a key stakeholder, Falconbridge of Canada, alleges that France has set new conditions that no private company can accept.

The planned plant is seen as a key element in developing the poorer northern province.