13 Feb 2006

2,500 Filipinos due to arrive in New Caledonia to work in nickel project

7:44 am on 13 February 2006

Up to two and a half thousand Filipinos are to work in New Caledonia, with the first batch arriving by the end of this month.

They are being employed by the mining company Goro Nickel which is starting up what's set to be the biggest industrial project in the South Pacific.

It's chief executive Ron Renton says over the next three years it's investing ten million US dollars in training local people to take over when the Filipinos leave.

"Our objective is that the composition of our workforce will reflect the demography, if you want to call it that, of New Caledonia. So in other words, I believe that it's about fifty-fifty melanesian-non melanesian, so logically we'd be reasonably satisfied with that demography."