24 Aug 2018

Further talks planned after New Caeldonia mine closure

9:07 am on 24 August 2018

Kouaoua. Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Gunnar Ries

Reports from New Caledonia say a further meeting is planned next week to resolve the conflict which led to last week's closure of the mine at Kouaoua.

The public broadcaster says the next meeting is tentatively set for Tuesday and will involve SLN, which has run the nickel mine.

A first meeting was held earlier this week between traditional leaders and a group of protesters blocking the Kouaoua mining site.

Dozens of mainly young local people blocked the site more than two weeks ago because they objected to the felling of more trees to expand mining operations.

The traditional leaders had approved SLN's bid to mine additional deposits.

Kouaoua produces 600,000 tonnes of ore a year for the SLN smelter in Noumea.

The shut-down of the mining centre has meant that for 81 employees temporary state support is being sought because SLN could not redeploy all affected staff.