6 Apr 2016

New Caledonia okays nickel export to China

11:26 am on 6 April 2016

The New Caledonian government has authorised the exportation of low grade nickel ore to China to offset the loss of exports to Australia.

This also comes after truckers threatened to block the capital, Noumea, to force a favourable decision.

Two companies will be allowed to sell 350,000 tonnes each for a year but have to avoid producers which are in direct competition with New Caledonia's smelters.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The new export channels are meant to compensate for the loss incurred by the suspension of work at Queensland Nickel in Australia.

Last October, the government gave only one company an export licence for China.

The entire sector is in a deep crisis, prompting the government last month to release 5.5 million US dollars of a special Nickel Fund to help exporters and contractors hit by the slump of the nickel price.

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