New Caledonia Authorized More Nickel Exports To Japan, Australia

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

Industry expected to lose $1 billion this year

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 17, 2015) – The New Caledonian government has authorised the company MKM to export low-grade nickel ore to Japan and Australia.

Noumea's daily newspaper says the decision to supply Japan's Pamco company was approved with a slim majority while a plan to ship ore to Queensland Nickel in Australia had unanimous support.

Two months ago, the government authorised MKM to start exporting low-grade nickel ore to China.

The deal to sell ore to Queensland Nickel comes amid concern that the Australian company may cease operations.

Politicians in Noumea fear that industry-wide losses will this year exceed one billion US dollars, with setbacks affecting not only the territory's three smelters but also subcontractors.

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