All eyes on Tesla as it invests in a troubled nickel mine – by Nick Rodway (Mongabay News – June 22, 2022)

GORO, New Caledonia — On the south side of Grand Terre, the largest and principal island of New Caledonia in the south Pacific, mountains rise like a spine out of a vast, turquoise lagoon that forms part of the longest continuous barrier reef in the world.

Although a French overseas territory, New Caledonia—located approximately 1,470 kilometers (900 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Australia—has been home to the Indigenous Kanak people for thousands of years and has a history and culture as rich as its ecology.

“Most of the vegetation we have in the south of the island is endemic and it is a region that contains many of our medicinal plants,” said Raphaël Mapou, a Kanak leader and head of a local environmental organization, Rhéébù Nùù. “The legends of the Kanak people speak of the importance of rivers [and] the ocean. The coral reef is a very important source of food for Kanaks.”

Just a few short miles from the famous lagoons, lies a vast, sprawling, open-cut nickel mine. Known locally as Goro, named after a nearby town, this pit and its processing plant are proving to be a stress test for a country that is thought to contain a quarter of the world’s known nickel reserves.

For the rest of this article: