16 Dec 2015

New Caledonia to export more nickel ore

4:35 pm on 16 December 2015

The New Caledonian government has authorised the company MKM to export low-grade nickel ore to Japan and Australia.

Noumea's daily newspaper says the decision to supply Japan's Pamco company was approved with a slim majority while a plan to ship ore to Queensland Nickel in Australia had unanimous support.

Two months ago, the government authorised MKM to start exporting low-grade nickel ore to China.

The deal to sell ore to Queensland Nickel comes amid concern that the Australian company may cease operations.

Politicians in Noumea fear that industry-wide losses will this year exceed one billion US dollars, with setbacks affecting not only the territory's three smelters but also subcontractors.