New Caledonia Politician Seeks Meeting With Mining CEO

Mr Gomes, who is one of New Caledonia's members of the French National Assembly, said he wanted to tell Vale's CEO Fabio Schvartsman not to shut the emblematic plant

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 22, 2017) – A senior New Caledonian politician Philippe Gomes has asked for a meeting with the head of the Brazilian miner Vale whose loss-making nickel plant in New Caledonia faces possible closure.

Mr Gomes made the comment to reporters in Paris after meeting the French prime minister Edouard Philippe and amid uncertainty over Vale's plans after it announced last month that it was reviewing the operation of its plant at Goro.

Mr Gomes, who is one of New Caledonia's members of the French National Assembly, said he wanted to tell Vale's CEO Fabio Schvartsman not to shut the emblematic plant.

There has been no comment from either the New Caledonian or French government about Vale's situation, which in case of a closure could lead to thousands of job losses.

Mr Gomes said he intended to meet President Emmanuel Macron's advisor on French overseas territories next week to raise the Vale situation.

Paris extended a large loan to Vale last year in the hope to aid its viability amid a prolonged nickel price slump.

The latest update from Vale makes no mention of its intentions in New Caledonia but notes that two cyclones interrupted nickel production for two days.

Radio New Zealand International
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