14 May 2012

Vale New Caledonia unable to meet supply contract

5:05 am on 14 May 2012

The Vale New Caledonia nickel company has declared force majeure after revealing that production has been halted because of an incident at its acid plant last Tuesday.

The company says it cannot meet its supply contract to Queensland Nickel.

It says it's not clear how long it will take to clean the plant.

Last month, Vale New Caledonia was fined 5,000 US dollars over an acid spill at its Goro plant three years ago.

The spill of more than 40,000 litres of acid was not contained and about 2,000 litres ended up in a lagoon which is a World Heritage site, killing nearly 2,000 fish.

The plant, which has cost more than four billion US dollars, has been dogged by delays and is yet to operate at full capacity.