Home » Economy » Nickel: “the future of SLN is in the hands of the Caledonian authorities” according to Eramet

Nickel: “the future of SLN is in the hands of the Caledonian authorities” according to Eramet

“We are convinced, with the management of the SLN, that the SLN can have a sustainable future”, Ms. Bories told Eramet shareholders, while setting two conditions for this success: obtaining a “Authorization to export two million additional tonnes of nickel ore” and “The rapid construction of a more competitive and greener power station to ensure the future of the plant”.

SLN, which operates one of the three nickel mines operated in New Caledonia, has an export authorization of 4 million tonnes (Mt) per year, which “is not enough to balance the model ”, judged Ms. Bories.
Last year, “despite social and meteorological disturbances”, SLN saw its nickel ore exports grow by 55% compared to 2019 (to 2.5 Mt). For 2021, the export volume is expected to grow to 3.5 Mt, Bories told shareholders.

The general assembly of Eramet was held in Paris on Friday, at a time when the French government has been leading a series of days of discussions since Wednesday with the separatists and loyalists in New Caledonia, with a view to a future referendum of self-determination which should be held by 2022.

The antagonisms around nickel are one of the important subjects of these discussions. For the FLNKS separatists, nickel is the basis of a viable independence. The French State is a 25.6% shareholder of the Eramet group, New Caledonia being a 4% shareholder.
Nickel was already at the center of the independence demand during the negotiation of the Noumea agreement (1998) intended in particular to “rebalance” the wealth of the archipelago in favor of the Kanaks after years of tension and violence.

Eramet also underlines the surge in its production of nickel ore in Indonesia (Weda Bay mine), operated since 2019, whose production target of more than 10 million tonnes in 2021, “will position it as one of the of the largest nickel mines in the world, ”said Ms. Bories.

With AFP

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