25 Jan 2006

New Caledonian miner finds no asbestos risk in road project

4:48 pm on 25 January 2006

The New Caledonian nickel company, Goro Nickel, says it has found no signs of asbestos during the construction of a road to its mine.

The company is digging up to 34 metres down a mountain slope to create the road.

The ground includes serpentine rock which may contain and release asbestos if crushed.

But Goro Nickel's spokesperson, Catherine Guillaume, says the company has been assessing the asbestos content in the air for the past three months and is happy with the results.

"We are very happy to say that we have only found once, fibres in these rocks and the level, the quantity of fibres in these rocks was much below the standard approved by the health department. Today, there is no danger in the works and there is no asbestos really found in these mountains."

Mrs Guillaume says the New Caledonian health department has approved the research done by Goro.

She also says Goro will continue to count the asbestos content while working on the rocks to make sure they are safe.