UPDATE 1-New Caledonia allows conditional restart of Vale nickel mine

domingo 1 de junio de 2014 21:35 GYT

* Vale nickel plant at Goro closed early May after acid leak

* Spill sparked violent protests causing more than $20 mln in damage

* Goro nickel plant has troubled history with spills, protests

* World nickel prices up strongly this year on supply concerns (Adds quotes, detail on statement)

By Cecile Lefort

SYDNEY, June 2 (Reuters) - New Caledonia authorities said on Monday they have authorised a conditional restart of Brazil-based Vale's nickel operations, which were suspended more than three weeks ago after acid-tainted effluent spilled into a river.

The leak sparked violent riots by young Melanesians that caused more than $20 million in damage to buildings, equipment and vehicles and left three policemen with gunshot wounds.

Police remained on alert as protesters maintained a presence near the plant.

"The situation is calm and some (protesters) are still camping near the plant," said a local government spokeswoman.   Continuación...