3,000 employees and contractors in the country
500.000 is the number of plants produced each year by VNC plant nursery
The country has one of the largest nickel reserves in the world (30%)
Our joint venture in New Caledonia is now responsible for administering an industrial complex encompassing a mine that produces nickel (and cobalt as a by-product), a hydrometallurgical processing plant, a refinery, a 3 terminal’s port and a plant nursery. Find out more at www.vale.com/nouvellecaledonie.
Located in Oceania, this small archipelago has one of the largest nickel reserves in the world (30%). Our joint venture in New Caledonia is now responsible for administering an industrial complex encompassing a mine that produces nickel (and cobalt as a by-product), a hydrometallurgical processing plant, a refinery, a 3 terminal’s port and a plant nursery. Find out more at www.vale.com/nouvellecaledonie.
In 2008, VNC signed an agreement between Vale, the kanak customary representatives and a local NGO : the pact for a sustainable great South.
This pact aims to involve the communities in the operation and it includes the first corporate foundation in the country, the Vale Foundation, with the task of funding educational and cultural projects.
The Foundation seeks to contribute to integrated economic, environmental and social development in the regions where Vale operates. In recent years, more than 100 projects have received support from the Foundation.
The pact also includes a Reforestery association and a Environmental Consultative Customary Council in charge of the communication to tribes of our environmental performances.
This open-pit mine is located on top of one of the largest lateritic nickel reserves in the world. Situated at Goro in the south of New Caledonia, it produces nickel and cobalt as a by-product.
The extracted low-grade ores are mixed with water to form a slurry, which is transported to the refinery through pipelines.
Processing at the plant takes place through a hydrometallurgical process, using chemical reagents, a high temperature and high pressure to separate metal from the residues.
Production: Nickel and cobalt
Vale’s stake: 80.5% – joint venture with companies Sumic and Société de Participation Minière du Sud Caledonien SAS
Type of mine: Open-pit
Transport: Loaded into containers and taken by truck for approximately 4 km to the Port of Prony
Created in 1996, before the construction of the plant, the plant nursery is today the largest industrial nursery of the region. It produces each year 500 000 plants from 120 different species and is a research center for endemic species. Its production is dedicated to enrich territorial parks and reserve and use for the reforestation program of the mine (100 hectares since 2002).
Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie uses the hydrometallurgical process to treat low grade limonites and saprolites. This process allows for the extraction of metals from the mines thanks to chemical reactions in a high pressure environment. Also their separation to produce a concentrate (NiO) or an intermediary product (NHC). Hydrometallurgy promotes the recovery of a higher percentage of metal from the ore, using less energy than pyrometallurgic and with a higher environmental interest.