26 Oct 2018

Blockade at New Caledonia nickel mine over

9:39 am on 26 October 2018

New Caledonia's SLN nickel company says the blockade of its mine site at Kouaoua, which began in early August, has ended.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

A group of locals opposed to the expansion of mining activity in the area had mounted the blockade amid a call to protect endemic trees.

In a statement to local media, SLN said it regrets the conflict wasn't resolved earlier, adding that it shows the need for a better dialogue.

It thanked all parties concerned, such as the state, the provincial government, elders and sub-contractors, for a peaceful end to the crisis.

It said it is too early to quantify the impact of the blockade.

During the blockade, there was further fire damage to the site's conveyor belt which feeds ore to the coast for shipping to the smelter in Noumea.

Earlier this month, police broke up a two-week blockade of another SLN mine, at Tiebaghi, by a group of pro-independence activists.

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