Local bid for New Caledonia’s Vale plant still stands

A photo taken on May 27, 2015 shows Brazilian Vale's nickel processing plant of Goro in southern New Caledonia. Photo: AFP PHOTO / FRED PAYET

RADIO NZ – 4:15 pm on 11 September 2020

Sofinor said its bid still stood to acquire the Brazilian-owned plant after Vale this week failed to sell its stake to New Century Resources of Australia.

According to a statement quoted in the media in Noumea, Sofinor has the support of its partner Korea Zinc, which has a capitalisation of $US7 billion.

Pro-independence parties and customary leaders opposed to the sale to New Century Resources said the plant should go into majority ownership of New Caledonian interests.

An earlier bid by Sofinor was reportedly rejected.

The management of New Caledonia’s Vale nickel plant said this week it could close by the end of the year if no new owner is found.

The government of the Southern province, where the plant is located, said all efforts would be made to save the 3000 jobs at risk in order to prevent a meltdown of New Caledonia’s economy.

Vale put its 95 percent stake in the plant up for sale in December after running up losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.


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