8 Dec 2015

New Caledonia nickel plant closure denied

12:13 pm on 8 December 2015

The French mining concern Eramet has rejected reports that its subsidiary SLN is about to quit New Caledonia.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

SLN's nickel plant has been the territory's most significant industry and its biggest private sector employer.

American banks suggested that SLN was to stop nickel production in Noumea, triggering a sharp Eramet share price drop in Paris and a rise in the price of nickel.

But in a formal statement, Eramet says its strategy has been misunderstood and that changes to planned nickel production at SLN are meant to improve the plant's finances.

The territory's broadcaster quotes an unnamed expert as saying that the proposed change will increase the plant's output.

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