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SYDNEY, May 27 (Reuters) - A weekend protest at Vale's nickel operations in New Caledonia after an effluent spill in early May did not cause any damage to the plant, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
"There was damage at the site, but no damage to the plant. We had burned vehicles, one administration building was damaged, but no damage to the plant itself," spokesman Corey McPhee told Reuters.
Peter Poppinga, an executive director at Vale, estimated damages to the mining site to be at least $20 million to $30 million, including the destruction of trucks and mining equipment, in an interview with a local newspaper.
New Caledonia's southern provincial government ordered an immediate halt to operations early May and has yet to say when Brazil-based Vale can resume its activities. (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)