15 Aug 2018

New Caledonia party wants Paris to act over mine woes

12:38 pm on 15 August 2018

The Caledonia Together party has called on the French state to take urgent action after the SLN nickel company closed its mining operations in Kouaoua.

The SLN plant in Noumea.

The SLN plant in Noumea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

SLN shut down the site, saying it could no longer assure the safety of its employees after a further arson attack and amid a blockade of the site by dozens of young people opposed to expanded yet approved mining.

The weekend fire was the tenth and again crippled the operation, threatening the job of about 400 people.

The party said those responsible have to be identified and punished.

It also said given the situation is extremely concerning, it calls for a dialogue with the young protesters in the interest of the Kouaoua community, the region, the company and all affected Caledonians.

The President Philippe Germain, who belongs to Caledonia Together, said he is ready to help but has no miracle solution to propose.

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