UPDATE 1-New Caledonia to allow Vale's nickel mine to restart

viernes 30 de mayo de 2014 02:47 GYT

* $6 bln plant closed three weeks ago after effluent spill

* Spill, response sparked violent protests

* Independent report says no objection to mine restarting

* Mine closure has added to nickel supply concerns (Add quotes, background, detail on report)

By Cecile Lefort

SYDNEY, May 30 (Reuters) - New Caledonian authorities will allow mining giant Vale to restart nickel mining activities as early as Friday after suspending operations at the $6 billion plant more than three weeks ago due to an effluent spill.

Youths angry about the spill and the reaction from Kanak tribal elders in the South Pacific island torched vehicles and buildings at the Goro mine site, blocked roads and injured three policemen in violent protests that followed.

In early May, some 100,000 litres of acid-tainted effluent leaked from the troubled plant and into a river, killing about 1,000 fish.

"The president of the Southern Province will issue by the end of the day or in the next few days an authorisation to restart the mining activities," a spokeswoman for the province told Reuters by telephone from the French-administered island.   Continuación...