20 Feb 2008

New Caledonia's Koniambo project gets US$ 230m tax exemption

3:09 pm on 20 February 2008

The French government says it will grant a key nickel project in New Caledonia's north tax exemptions worth 230 million US dollars.

The concession has been made to Xstrata of Switzerland which is to build the Koniambo nickel plant at an estimated cost of 3.8 billion US dollars.

The project is expected to create 2,000 jobs during its construction phase and is to be completed by 2011.

The mine and plant have as main stakeholder the SMSP company owned by the northern province.

France has backed the Koniambo project as a way of developing the economy of the mainly Kanak north of the territory.