Reuters reported that New Caledonia plans to allow two companies to export nickel ore to China. The move will end a longstanding ban — New Caledonia has been resisting selling ore directly to large countries like China in order to preserve its domestic smelting and refining industry.
As quoted in the market news:
But in change in policy, the government said this week Eramet subsidiary Societe Le Nickel and Ballande-owned Societe des Mines de la Tontouta are free sell a combined amount of up to 700 000 t of low-grade nickel ore, known as laterites, to Chinese buyers over a period of 12 to 18 months.
A slump in nickel prices is putting pressure on New Caledonia’s three smelters, owned by Glencore, Vale and Societe Le Nickel, cutting export revenue for the government. Combined, the three smelters supply 10% of world demand for the metal used to make stainless steel.