Pacific / New Caledonia

Vale's restructure in New Caledonia likely to cost more than 100 jobs

09:07 am on 24 January 2020

The planned restructure of the Vale nickel plant in New Caledonia is expected to result in at least 100 employees losing their jobs.

A photo taken on May 27, 2015 shows Brazilian Vale's nickel processing plant of Goro in southern New Caledonia. Photo: AFP PHOTO / FRED PAYET

Last year, the Brazilian owner announced that it was divesting itself of its 95-percent share in the plant while changing its operations.

Local media say talks with unions have resulted in reclassifying some positions and that of the 300 people affected about 125 will be dismissed.

The figure is not final and reports quote a union leader as saying the redeployments may lower it to about 100.

The Noumea Post said the exact figure would be known next month.

Vale has been incurring losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars and decided to pull out after earlier contemplating mothballing the plant.

It now plans to close the nickel refinery and to prioritise production of NHC, or nickel hydroxide cake, which Vale says is in great demand for batteries for electric vehicles.