Eramet and its subsidiary in open warfare with the Northern province | EUROtoday

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Independentist Paul Néaoutyine, president of the Northern province of New Caledonia, in Kone, September 28, 2020.

At midnight sharp, on the night of Wednesday April 10, the mines of Société Le Nickel (SLN) positioned within the Northern province fell silent. Gone are the sweeping of mining machines and the noise of ore sorters, the 750 workers of SLN (which has 2,359 workers in whole) at the moment are busy with duties “site security”, whereas awaiting a hypothetical settlement between the corporate and the emblematic president of the northern province of New Caledonia, the separatist Paul Néaoutyine. One extra episode within the severe nickel disaster that the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire had dedicated to resolving in a brand new “pact”. And this, at a time when the political disaster over the freezing of the voters can be reaching a climax in New Caledonia: on Saturday, 20,000 pro-independence and non-independence demonstrators are anticipated in Nouméa.

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Paul Néaoutyine, a person with phrases as uncommon as they’re sharp, banged his fist on the desk on Wednesday, placing SLN on discover to supply the monetary ensures mandatory for the four-year operation of its 9 mining websites positioned within the Northern province. Guarantees supposed to cowl environmental harm within the occasion of an accident or firm failure, which quantity to 30 million euros for this province alone, 52 million for all SLN mining websites within the territory.

A authorized obligation for Paul Néaoutyine, a lifeless weight in an accounting already within the purple for the administration of the SLN. Five months of conciliation process having not allowed the SLN to redress its scenario, its normal director, Jérôme Fabre, introduced on Wednesday that he was requesting its placement beneath advert hoc mandate on the business court docket. To date, the corporate's money circulate solely provides it visibility till the tip of May.

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On Wednesday, Eramet – of which the State is a 27% shareholder, and which has however introduced on a number of events that it might now not finance its Caledonian subsidiary – lastly got here to assistance from SLN, by releasing the quantity of ensures for a interval solely two months. First refusal from Paul Néaoutyine who orders the cessation of mining exercise. Thing executed at midnight and new name for assist from Eramet which guarantees to ensure twelve months of exercise, in opposition to the 4 years required by the Northern province.

Explosive scenario

Real problem or carpet service provider negotiation? The SLN introduced Thursday night the resumption of its exercise this Friday with out ready for approval from the province earlier than backing down, confronted with a brand new indignant letter from Paul Néaoutyine, and maybe additionally the beginning of inner protest: “We had given instructions to our members not to resume activity, to remain on duty, but above all not to resume the machines,” mentioned Arnold Delrieu, deputy normal secretary of the bulk mining union, the CSTNC, on radio Nouvelle-Calédonie la 1D. Just a few hours later, an inter-union press launch known as for “the general management of SLN with the assistance of Eramet to meet all regulatory requirements”.

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