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New Caledonia's nickel sector shaken up, 5,000 jobs in danger

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Staff Writer | August 8, 2017
Unions in New Caledonia fear that the Vale nickel plant could close within half a year and trigger the biggest wave of job losses the territory has ever seen.
New Caledonia vale
Mining   10,000 people who need to be fed
"That's 5,000 employees and that means 10,000 people who need to be fed", a unionist Pascal Pujapujane told New Caledonia's television station after the latest briefing by the Vale leadership.

What sent the alarm bells ringing was the announcement by Vale's new CEO Fabio Schvartsman in Brazil last month that it was reviewing its loss-making operation in New Caledonia.

The timeline for a decision is not clear but reports suggest the Vale board may move as soon as this month.

Returning from Brazil, the head of Vale New Caledonia Daryush Khoshneviss met union representatives who had different interpretations of the message from headquarters.

Vale runs a global network of mines and mining-related businesses which make it the world's top iron producer.