20 Aug 2015

Noumea blockades hinge on government talks

1:48 pm on 20 August 2015

Traffic disruptions caused by a major protest by truck drivers in Noumea have partially eased this morning while talks are underway to resolve the surrounding dispute.

The drivers are upset about a decision by New Caledonia's committee for external mining trade not to approve a number of applications to export low grade ore to China submitted by Societe Le Nickel and several small miners.

The drivers attached to the nickel mining contractor union, ContraKmine, established initial blockades two weeks ago but stepped up their protest this week after the

President of New Caledonia's government Philippe Germain broke off negotiations.

Mr Germain and members of his government are now meeting with the union as well as the French High Commissioner in a bid to resolve the dispute.

Local media reports say trucks are still ready to re-install blockades to cut off Noumea as they did on Tuesday, depending on the outcome of the talks.

Truck blockade lifted temporarily in New Caledonia.

Truck blockade in New Caledonia Photo: AFP

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