Backes expects China may get New Caledonia nickel stake ( – December 9, 2019)

New Caledonia’s Southern Province president has indicated that the Brazilian miner Vale may well have no option but to sell its assets in New Caledonia’s south to Chinese investors.

Sonia Backes said this year Vale had lost $US200 million. She said in its current state, Vale would not find a buyer and therefore she was in favour of the company adopting a new strategy.

Ms Backes made the comment in an interview with the Nouvelles Caledoniennes days after Vale put its plant at Goro up for sale, with yet to be determined job losses.

Both her province and France were keeping an eye out as China was keen to get established in New Caledonia in the way it did in Vanuatu and French Polynesia, she said.

While Australian and European investors would be viewed more favourably, questions needed to be asked of who would want to buy the plant.

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