12 Jul 2017

New Caledonia mine system repair underway

3:17 pm on 12 July 2017

It is expected to take at least a week to repair the damage caused by a fire at the SLN mine site in New Caledonia.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Sunday's fire, which was suspicious, damaged more than 300 metres of an 11 kilometre conveyor belt system which feeds ore to the coast for shipping to the SLN nickel smelter in Noumea.

The repair bill is projected to in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The incident in Kouaoua has crippled operations at the site which is the area's main employer.

SLN has been running at a loss of more than $US20 million a month after years of deficits caused by a depressed nickel price.