Eramet’s nickel smelter in New Caledonia is facing an ore shortage after recent protests on the island led to transport blockades.
According to media reports, Vale’s sale of the Goro mine led to an outbreak of violent protests in the region due to which Eramet’s trucks were unable to transport ore from its mines to the Doniambo smelter. In fact, Vale evacuated its New Caledonia operations due to the severity of the protests, which led to the local military stepping in.
Eramet’s Caledonian subsidiary, Societe Le Nickel (SLN) informed that the plant has lowered the power to its furnaces to reduce processing capacity due to diminished ore throughput. However, the plant may have to permanently shut one of its three furnaces if ore delivery is not resumed by “early next week”.
Eramet-SLN mined 3.8mn wmt of nickel ore in January-September this year. The smelter produces both nickel cathode and ferronickel for stainless steel.