the specter of the “northern factory” being put to sleep | EUROtoday
This is the worst-case state of affairs. Thousands of Australian miners and metallurgists have been residing a nightmare since January: confronted with a nickel market at half mast, the place China and Indonesia rule the roost, a number of websites might be placed on maintain whereas ready for higher days, placing 10,000 jobs in danger, based on a examine by the Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy.
In New Caledonia, the place the three nickel factories are in a essential scenario, the same measure may quickly have an effect on Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS), additionally referred to as the “Northern factory”, whose staggering debt reaches 13.5 billion euros. . A debt completely borne by Glencore, a 49% shareholder, on the finish of the shareholders' pact which hyperlinks the Anglo-Swiss group to the Société Minière du Sud Pacifique, which represents the pursuits of the Northern Province, a group within the palms of the separatists.
On Wednesday February 7, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, introduced support of 200 million euros within the type of a mortgage and direct grant to KNS, whereas calling for “Glencore to take its responsibilities”. On Thursday, essentially the most optimistic thought of the upcoming signing of an settlement. However, on Friday, KNS administration flew to Nouméa with none assure about the way forward for the location. “Despite all of the goodwill of the events concerned within the negotiations, the way forward for Koniambo Nickel have to be written with a brand new accomplice, apart from Glencoreindicated to WorldAlexandre Rousseau, director of human sources and communications at KNS. Glencore should take its obligations: I agree, not that of constant to help our sector, if it’s not within the curiosity of its group technique, however that of granting us the opportunity of discovering a dependable purchaser in the most effective circumstances. »
Possible juicy earnings
Glencore may certainly determine to cease financing, however with out promoting its shares: this might put it on maintain for an indefinite interval, till nickel costs get better. Because the North manufacturing facility is backed by one of many very first nickel deposits on the earth, the Koniambo massif. However, Glencore, which posts an working revenue in its buying and selling department of greater than 3 billion euros for 2023, just isn’t in search of financing. Selling at present would imply depriving your self of potential juicy earnings when the costs of this cyclical business begin to rise once more. Especially for the reason that manufacturing facility's manufacturing is now on observe and France has introduced its intention to incorporate Caledonian nickel within the European technique for supplying essential metals to counter the Chinese steamroller, significantly on the electrical car battery market.
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