New Caledonia nickel ore export bids hit impasse
RNZ - The government of New Caledonia is poised to refer the impasse over a new mining code to the next meeting of the signatories to the Noumea Accord.
Two of the three nickel mining companies running smelters in the territory each want to sell two million tons of nickel ore to Asia.
They said this would cushion the losses incurred by their processing facilities suffering from a prolonged low nickel price.
Vale of Brazil is in the process of selling its 95 percent stake in its plant in the south of the main island to Australian interests while SLN, with its smelter in Noumea, fears for its viability if it cannot sell ore to get cash.
However the pro-independence parties oppose a law change to allow such sales, describing them as a waste of a resource given that the ore was earmarked for processing onshore.