MAC: Mines and Communities

Green threat to Goro

Published by MAC on 2006-06-12

Green threat to Goro

12th June 2006

AROUND the same time Inco was announcing a donation to freshwater restoration at Sudbury in Canada, an environmental cloud appeared over the development of the Goro laterite nickel project in New Caledonia.

According to the Macquarie commodities team, the indigenous group in New Caledonia that opposed the project "has won a preliminary ruling by an administrative tribunal" that the company's environmental impact study at Goro "has not been vigorous enough".

The impact on the development of Goro is unclear, with Inco yet to comment.

Goro's construction has already been impacted by the indigenous group, called Rheebu Nuu, with some two to four weeks lost, costing around $US10 million ($A13.4 million) earlier this year after vandalism and violent protests.

The 60,000 tonne per annum nickel (plus 3000-5000t cobalt) project was set to come on line in 2008-09 and is seen as a key project to alleviate pressure on the tight nickel market.

Meantime in Sudbury, Inco has donated $C300,000 ($A362,300) towards a detailed design study for Laurentian University's Living with Lakes Centre. According to Inco, the centre will provide a new home for the growing Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, "which has been internationally recognised for its research in freshwater restoration".

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