MAC: Mines and Communities

New Caledonia mine protesters score court victory

Published by MAC on 2006-06-15

New Caledonia mine protesters score court victory

Radio Australia

15th June 2006

Protesters in New Caledonia have secured a legal victory in their struggle against what is planned to be one of the world's biggest nickel mines.

An administrative court has cancelled Goro Nickel's licence to mine at the still unfinished site because of what it called insufficient study of the environmental impact.

The AFP newsagency says the ruling has no immediate impact on the facility, as the mine is not yet operational and its construction licence remains valid.

However, AFP says it marks a victory for the indigenous Kanak Rheebu Nuu movement fighting to block it.

The court found a previous study had not sufficiently proven that samples used represented the level of toxins which would be produced when the mine is operational.

Another analysis is already under way on the impact of the site.

Rheebu Nuu have repeatedly complained that the site will harm the environment and say they should get royalties from the mine.

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