Specifically, a recent referendum that took place on the territory’s independence from France, won by pro-French loyalists, was followed by the agreed sale of the Goro nickel and cobalt mine by Vale to Prony Resources, a move supported by anti-independence leaders.
Consequently, the sale led to violent protests and civil unrest on the streets of Noumea, with pro-independence protestors obstructing access to the mine. The mine was evacuated because of the protests, however there have been reports of fires being started, damaging property and equipment, which has led to pollution on the Kwe river.
The correspondents note that New Caledonia has one of the world’s largest nickel resources, and the planned sale of the Vale mine has led to tensions between the pro-French loyalists and the indigenous Kanaks, who oppose foreign ownership.
Moreover, at the Goro mine is serviced by a port in the nearby Bay of Prony, the situation poses great risks for vessels that are to arrive.
Therefore, it is recommended that
Vessels planning to call at New Caledonian ports should contact their agent for the latest information.