27 Jan 2021

Pressure building in New Caledonia as nickel crisis continues

From , 6:02 am on 27 January 2021

Thousands of jobs are on the line in New Caledonia as the future of its huge nickel sector hangs in the balance.

Nickel is the mainstay of the French territory's economy but the industry is now mired in a number of conflicts, with sites blockaded and political positions entrenched.

The oldest nickel producer SLN is facing insolvency and the Brazilian-owned Vale plant is at a standstill.

My colleague Walter Zweifel has been following events and I asked him what role the pro-independence movement plays in this situation.

Opponents of the proposed sale of the Vale NC plant display independent Kanak flags on a filter dam on the outskirts of the agglomeration of Noumea.

Photo: Théo Rouby / Hans Lucas