This is undoubtedly the epilogue of an industrial dossier that has strongly shaken New Caledonia in recent months. On Thursday, the loyalist and separatist forces of the archipelago announced that they had reached an agreement on the takeover of the nickel plant from the Brazilian Vale.
The agreement was signed between the leaders of the southern province (loyalist) – where the gigantic industrial complex is located -, the independence president of the Congress, Roch Wamytan, as well as the leaders of the independentist collective “southern factory, country factory” . “It is a Caledonian solution, peaceful and win-win “, Welcomed, during a press conference, Roch Wamytan, who has been coordinating discussions for two weeks on this sensitive issue, at the origin of an outbreak of violence in December.
Trafigura always present
Sonia Backès, president of the southern province, was also delighted that this “political agreement, already informally validated” by industrial players, enshrines “a new model based on the control and enhancement of wealth and the preservation of the environment “. Although the independence opponents of the initial offer were strongly hostile to it, the sulphurous Swiss commodity trader Trafigura remains in the assembly announced by the Caledonian elected officials, at 19%.
A public mining holding company including the three New Caledonian provinces (SPMSC) will have 30%, employees and local populations 21% and a financial company 30%. “The 51 % Caledonian interests are non-dilutable, ”said Sonia Backès, insisting on the return to the southern province of the mining titles of the extremely rich Goro deposit to which the plant is backed. The community will now receive a royalty from the industrialist, who will lease the mine.
Partnership with Tesla
The other big news is the “high level industrial partnership” concluded with the American giant Tesla. The car manufacturer, a specialist in electric vehicles whose batteries are the outlet of the Goro nickel plant, “will play a role of technical advisor in the development and improvement of the industrial process, as part of a long-term supply agreement for its production chain », Indicated the Caledonian leaders.
This agreement should allow the restart of the plant “in the next few days ”, We indicated from the same source. The site has been at a standstill since December 10, after being stormed by rioters.