Vale announces ongoing shutdowns at Goro nickel project
According to a report in Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes newspaper, production has been halted for several months for ongoing repairs at Vale’s troubled $4.5bn Goro nickel project in New Caledonia.
Vale's Goro nickel project.
Force majeure was previously declared by the company on 10 May 2012 after a spill in Goro’s experimental high pressure acid leach plant. The company said the spill was caused by corrosion damage to pipes.
The plant is the largest of its kind in the world. It was originally scheduled to be opened September 2012. Vale has not commented on the latest stoppage.
Earlier announcements from Vale said production was to begin in earnest in 2013, ramping up to 60,000tpa of nickel oxide in 2014.
Setbacks at the plant have plagued the project, delaying production by several years.
Costs have soared from the initial $1.9bn to over $4bn. Significant delays have been caused by incidents such as an acid spill in 2009, a collapsed acid column in 2010 and protests by locals over environmental concerns.