6 Dec 2005

New Caledonia MP backs France over planned nickel plant

9:16 am on 6 December 2005

The leader of the Rassemblement-UMP party in New Caledonia, Pierre Frogier, says the State has done all it can to help the northern nickel factory planned by the Canadian company, Falconbridge.

Mr Frogier told RRB radio that a new partership is needed to go ahead with the project since Falconbridge, he said, will not honour its signature.

Last week, Falconbridge said it couldn't go ahead with the project under the system of financial assistance proposed by France.

It said the conditions of France's underwriting the project by US$450 million, weren't acceptable for a commercial company.

The factory at Koniambo in the mainly Kanak north of New Caledonia would produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel a year, at a cost of US$2.2 billion.