19 Jun 2018

Man sentenced for fire at New Caledonian mine site

8:28 pm on 19 June 2018

A man in New Caledonia has been given an 18-month jail sentence for setting a fire at the Kouaoua mining site a week ago.

The fire damaged the belt system which feeds nickel ore to the coast for shipping to the SLN nickel smelter in Noumea.

The 31-year--old was arrested at the weekend and admitted to the facts, saying he acted because SLN had broken a promise to build a football field and a church.

Media reports say he could leave the court because his sentence might be appealed.

The man was known to the authorities for driving without a licence.

The fire was the fourth in a year, causing substantial material damage each time and interrupting operations for days while repairs were made.