26 Apr 2010

New Caledonia nickel plant spill probed as launch again delayed

1:12 pm on 26 April 2010

The goverment of New Caledonia's southern province and the Vale-Inco nickel company are this week investigating the circumstances of a spill of 670,000 litres of a solution containing acid.

The company said nobody was injured and last week's spill was contained by the tailing dams.

The incident has alarmed the Rheebu Nuu environmental group, whose leader, Andre Vama, has told Noumea's daily newspaper that he questions the viability of the huge plant, which cost about four billion US dollars to build,

A major acid spill into the lagoon during testing a year ago set back the planned launch of production, which had earlier been scheduled for late 2009..