Non-independents reject this proposal and await the sale with the Swiss trader Trafigura. The French state is expected to make proposals very soon

The sale of Brazil’s Vale nickel processing plant is progressing slowly. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Brazilian and the oil trader, Trafigura. Meanwhile, opponents of the sale are not disarming. After demonstrations and scenes of very violent ransacking in Noumea and on the factory premises, the situation has become calmer again. The opponents of the takeover made a new offer. They proposed that the factory be taken over 100 % by a company belonging to the three provinces of Caledonia (South 50 %, North 25 % and Islands 25 %)*.

One year to find an industrialist

Currently, the Province owns only 5 % of the shares in the plant. The project plans to join forces with an industrialist in about a year’s time. The industrialist in question would then have 49 % of the shares of the plant. The promoters of the project promise to take over the 3000 jobs immediately. In fact, Vale announces that if the sale to Trafigura is not completed quickly, it will very soon put the plant on hold. Panic is beginning to mount among the employees. The promoters also promise not to relocate the refining part of the transformation. This is the most profitable part.

We are waiting for the minister from Macron

For their part, those in favour of the takeover by Trafigura did not take off. They claim that the company in question will not be able to afford to run the factory. There is no more dialogue. Caledonia eagerly awaits the words of the Minister of Outremers in the government of Emmanuel Macron. Sebastien Lecornu has promised to make revelations on the subject. In the meantime, calm is relative in Caledonia. It resembles the calm that reigns in the eye of the hurricane …

* This company is the SPMSC