17 Sep 2015

New Caledonia govt requests congress session on nickel question

10:42 am on 17 September 2015

The New Caledonia government has requested a special session of Congress later this month to address a major issue about nickel exports.

This comes amid a stalemate in mediation talks that followed protests last month by truck drivers over the government's policy to not approve exports of low grade ore to China after a decline in exports to Australia.

The drivers were aligned with small miners and the territory's veteran miner SLN who opposed the stance on the issue by the government's leading party, Caledonia Together.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

France TV in New Caledonia reports that six of the eleven members of the collegial government have voted in favor of a special session of Congress on the subject of exports to China.

The office of the President, Philippe Germain of Caledonia Together, has indicated the special congress session will take place on September 28.

Caledonia Together appears at odds with the Republicans grouping which has demanded that the government exercises its jurisdiction and decides on applications to export ore to China.

The Republicans are also pushing for a dedicated debate on the territory's nickel strategy.

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