They don’t want the Swiss company Trafigura to buy the metal factory in the South province.
The news is likely to be hot in the weeks and months to come. The customary people of the south of the country and the pro-independence parties reject the project to take over the metallurgical plant at Goro. The Brazilian company Vale has decided to sell. We revealed a few weeks ago that Vale has decided to sell the plant to the Swiss company Trafigura. The group is not a metallurgist, but a specialist in oil trading. The sale has not yet been made, it is still at the stage of exclusive negotiation.
The customary and the independentists do not want it!
The customary and the independentists do not want it. The association “Usine du Sud = Usine pays” was created for the occasion. It is very firm. They don’t trust Trafigura, which has a bad reputation in terms of the environment. Opponents notably accuse the French State of supporting the Trafigura project. They prefer another takeover project rejected last month by Vale. It is that of the Caledonian company Sofinor, in association with Korea Zinc, a Korean metallurgist. Sofinor controls two metallurgical plants, one in northern Caledonia with Glencore and one in Korea with Posco.
Demonstrators block the port
There have already been several demonstrations in recent weeks, but they have been very quiet. The demonstrators decided to take things to the next level by blocking access to the plant and the mine. The plant was still able to continue to operate. The port was also blocked. Only basic necessities are allowed to leave the port.
The objective of these demonstrators is to make Vale bend to change its mind. In particular, they would like Vale to give Korean specialists permission to enter the plant to take stock of the situation. This will allow Sofinor/KoreaZinc to refine its offer. Some twenty years ago, a conflict of this type led to unrest in Caledonia. It concerned the construction of a factory in the North. Its majority shareholder was (and still is)… Sofinor.
Photo > Vale workers ferry in Nouméa port.