Against the backdrop of the growing demand for the nickel on the part of steelmakers, Chinese Minmetals Non-Ferrous Co. and Development Bank has taken part in financing and preparing the nickel project of Koniambo (New Caledonia).
The lateral cobalt-nickel deposit of Koniambo, which is planned for the development in the project, is located in the northern part of New Caledonia Island. The identified resources are estimated at 298.1 million tonnes of ore with an average nickel content of 2.17%, cobalt – 0.07%. The deposit is 49% owned by Canada’s Falconbridge Ltd. The owner of the rest is the New Caledonian company SMSP.
The ores with a high nickel content, according to plan, will be melted pyrometalдurgically in ferronickel at the plant with a design capacity of 60 thousand tons of nickel per year. The cost of the project, including the construction of port facilities and power plants for the needs of the enterprise, was raised in 2004 to $2.2 billion. The cost of nickel production is estimated at $3,640/ton. Production at the plant will begin at the earliest in 2009. Chinese companies are interested in stable supplies of nickel, and Falconbridge intends to attract from China not only finance but also equipment.
Briefly about Caledonian NV
New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a French colony, located in the Pacific Ocean; it is a whole archipelago, based on a large island surrounded by smaller islands. Tourism in this part of our planet is not very common, but it is even more interesting to visit this country, to be known as the pioneer of these places.
On these islands, you can find everything you need for good holidays: the beautiful Pacific coast with wonderful surf spots, and calm bays where you can simply swim, enjoying the wonderful weather, and coral reefs covering almost the entire coastal zone that serves as the base for diving. This territory has long remained a French province and the indigenous population of the islands does not want to separate at all, as is the case with periodic referendums on the independence of the islands. All of them gave negative results. The next referendum is already planned, but no one doubts that its result will be the same.
It is worth noting that Koniambo cit is famous for Koniambo nickel. This makes Caledonia quite an attractive country economically.