CANADIAN MINING GIANT TO INVEST US$ 1.4 BILLION IN NEW CALEDONIAN NICKEL AND

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COBALT PROJECT

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 27, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---Canadian mining giant Inco is poised to invest US$ 1.4 billion into a nickel and cobalt mining project in Goro (in the southern part of New Caledonia's main island), RFO reported, quoting a statement from the company.

The Goro project was carefully studied for the past four years. A "pilot" plant was first set up to simulate mining conditions on a small scale.

Inco, in a statement released from its head office in Toronto, said final arrangements are being made, including benefits and exemptions for the company under a French investment incentive plan for its overseas territories.

Plant construction is scheduled to start later this year and to be completed by the end of 2004.

An estimated 800 jobs are to be created in the process.

Production capacity is expected to reach 54,000 tons a year for nickel and 5,400 tons for cobalt.

Latest technologies also will allow the company to produce nickel and cobalt at lower than current costs.

"Goro is a world class project and it will be the cornerstone of our strategy, which is now based on profit growth and low cost," Inco chairman Scott Hand said.

Inco, which currently claims to provide a quarter of the world’s nickel supply, is especially targeting the Asian market with the Goro plant.

New Caledonia is the world's third largest nickel producer.

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