Uncertainty Surrounds Future Of New Caledonia Nickel Plant

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Vale considers whether to pull out of Goro

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 2, 2015) – There are conflicting reports about the immediate future of the seven-billion US dollar Vale nickel plant at Goro in New Caledonia.

The plant's owner, Vale of Brazil, has told Reuters that it expects its plant in Goro to increase nickel production by 50 percent next year.

However, a study by the bank Credit Suisse has identified the Goro plant as one of five sites worldwide which are at risk of being mothballed or closed because of the prolonged slump in commodity prices.

The study says up to 65,000 tonnes of nickel need to be taken off the market for prices to pick up and because of the high production costs, Vale may opt to shut the New Caledonian plant while keeping the ones it owns in Canada and Brazil.

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