1 Sep 2014

Unity needed on nickel in New Caledonia

9:40 am on 1 September 2014

New Caledonia's president, Cynthia Ligeard, has linked the territory's institutional future to finding a common policy on nickel.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The territory has about a quarter of the world's reserves of nickel, which is needed to produce stainless steel.

Ms Ligeard says the nickel resources is a factor contributing to tension while it is imperative for New Caledonia to have a coherent policy on nickel.

When the collegial government was formed in June, the nickel portfolio could not be attributed because of disagreements within the pro-independence camp.

New Caledonia has three huge nickel producing plants - two of which have opened this decade.