26 Nov 2018

Arrests in New Caledonia over mine attacks

10:46 am on 26 November 2018

Police in New Caledonia have arrested three men in connection with the arson attacks on the SLN nickel company's site in Kouaoua.

Two of them have been charged, with one of them admitting to setting two fires to the conveyor belt which feeds ore to the coast for shipping to the SLN smelter in Noumea.

The third suspect has been transferred to prison after he had been given a jail term of 18 months in June.

The arrests came only days after 15 trucks were destroyed in Kouaoua.

Earlier police had removed a blockade of the mining site which has been the scene of protracted disputes this year with a group opposed to expanded mining.

There have been a total of 15 fires this year damaging the conveyor belt.

Outside Noumea prison, New Caledonia

Outside Noumea prison, New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

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