Vale confirms closure of New Caledonia nickel plant

RADIO NZ – 12:10 pm on 9 October 2020

The Brazilian miner Vale has reconfirmed that it will shut its nickel plant in New Caledonia, which is likely to trigger massive job losses.

Its CFO Luciano Siani Pires has told Bloomberg TV the plant’s competitiveness hasn’t been what it should be and will be closed next year.

6:04 minutes, on New Caledonia nickel plant

He said no buyer has been found for the asset.

Last month, New Century Resources of Australia pulled out of a preliminary deal to acquire the plant, saying it could not generate a structure suitable for all shareholders.

Mr Pires said negotiations with Tesla to provide cobalt and nickel for car batteries are based on supplies from Canada and not New Caledonia.

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

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

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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