3 Apr 2006

First of 2,500 Filippino workers arrive in New Caledonia

9:58 am on 3 April 2006

Forty six of an expected 2500 Filippinos have arrived in New Caledonia to work as skilled construction workers on the Goro Nickel mining site for about 18 months.

The other Filippinos are expected to arrive during May and June this year to work at Goro Nickel, the largest industrial project in the South Pacific.

Goro Nickel spokesperson, Catherine Guillaume, says the men will have to leave the country after finishing the contruction in about 18 months.

"They are really specialised in this kind of job with modules. It's not a competency that we will need further.So that's a priority job and only for very specific requirements. No, we won't need them further."

Ms Guillaume says they will stay in the country on a one year work visa, which is extendable for another six months.

She also says they will be paid the same amount as local workers, but will have to pay one third of their salary for lodging and transportation.