16 Apr 2018

Fire damages New Caledonia nickel mine belt system

2:09 pm on 16 April 2018

There has been a fire at a Kouaoua mining site of New Caledonia's SLN nickel company.

The fire destroyed a section of belt system which feeds ore to the coast for shipping to the SLN nickel smelter in Noumea.

Media reports said it took about two hours during the night on Sunday for firefighters to contain the blaze, which damaged the belt in three places.

The cause of the fire is not known.

On local radio, the mayor Alcide Ponga had asked the public to come forward with any information they might have about the incident.

Last July, a suspicious fire damaged more than 300 metres of the 11-kilometre conveyor belt system, crippling operations at the site which is the main employer in the area.

Three nickel mines hit by strike in New Caledonia.

Mining site hit by fire, damaging ore conveyor belt Photo: AFP PHOTO MARC LECHELARD

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