12 Dec 2005

Canada's Falconbridge to continue New Caledonia mine talks

2:40 pm on 12 December 2005

The Canadian mining company, Falconbridge, says several top executives will leave for New Caledonia today in a bid to finalise negotiations to build a nickel smelter in the territory's mainly Kanak north.

The company's vice-president, Denis Couture, has declined to give details but says he is optimistic about the company's talks with the government of the northern province and the SMSP mining company.

This comes after a weekend announcement in Paris by the president of the northern province, Paul Neaoutyine, that Falconbridge would fund the 2.2 billion US dollar project.

This comes only days after the company rejected a French offer for subsidies, saying no commercial company could accept the conditions.