SAS Vavouto joins together a large number of individuals, small businesses and local private clan groups established by law (GDPLs) from the North Province. Its equity (645,000 euros) is spread among 38 GDPLs (60%), and 1,163 individual shareholders from the North Province (40%).

Through a framework agreement with Koniambo Nickel, SAS Vavouto was awarded earthworks contracts, but it had to compete with other suppliers for all other contracts. It successfully bid for contracts in other areas, such as quarrying and logistics.

As early as 2009, SAS Vavouto was able to distribute dividends to its shareholders. Of the economic spinoffs for New Caledonia generated by the contracts and various work orders issued by Koniambo Nickel for the site, 53% has gone to businesses in the North Province and 47% to businesses in the South Province.

“By the middle of 2011, 187 New Caledonian companies, of which 94 were based in the North Province, had been directly awarded some 220 contracts.“

By the middle of 2011, 187 New Caledonian companies, of which 94 were based in the North Province, had been directly awarded some 220 contracts. Some fifty companies were created in the North Province with strong participation by Customary shareholders, especially for the Koniambo Project:

  • • 38 earthworks companies
  • • Sowemar (port services)
  • • GIE des transporteurs du nord (on-site and off-site employee transportation)
  • • Fwang Gardiennage (security operations on the Vavouto site)
  • • ASN (security operations on the ore body and at Kataviti)
  • • Maabula (office cleaning and maintenance)
  • • GIE Pepinières du Nord (revegetation)
  • • STMK (maintenance of engineered anti-erosion structures and tracks on the ore body)
  • • Djelawe Maintenance (maintenance of construction vehicles)
  • • Silver SARL (light-vehicle cleaning)
  • • SARL Wanghidjang (replanting of mangrove shrubs)

Local economic benefits were estimated at XPF 235 billion as the end of 2013, of which :

A few of the projects funded in 2012

Koniambo Nickel created an internal Contributions Committee to support initiatives launched by civil society and, in 2012, it allocated XPF 29.1m for these activities.

In the area of Health and Safety, it funded the installation of garbage dumpsters and public washrooms in the village of Koné, and it helped to set up radar speed signs at the entrances to three communes in the VKP area and one at the Oundjo tribe, not far from the Vavouto site.

The area of Education too was not neglected: funding was provided to assist with bussing students from the college in Koné so they could participate in the science festival.

Koniambo Nickel also has a special attachment for what it calls “Community Development”: in 2012, it helped with the renovation of a socio-cultural meeting place in the Ouélisse tribe, at Voh; along with the Du Cœur Hospital Association, it equipped Koumac hospital rooms with televisions; and it helped Cadre-Avenir organise and hold a conference.

And even now Koniambo Nickel is working with several municipalities in the North Province and with a network of thirty associations. Yet the committee has an inflexible rule of conduct: no sponsoring of political parties or congregations embracing only one religion.

From mine to stage

Innovative and cleaner

Koniambo Nickel’s Metallurgical Plant uses the NST or Nickel Smelting Technology process. Developed and patented by Falconbridge Ltd., this improved technology was borne out of the collective experience of many metallurgical operations around the world.

The goal? To profit from an energy-efficient ferronickel production process with a smaller environmental footprint. As is the case with the metallurgical plants operated by Le Nickel-SLN in Doniambo, New Caledonia, or by the Société du nickel de Nouvelle-Calédonie and Corée in Gwangyang, Korea, our plant in Vavouto calcines nickel-bearing ore, liquefies the resulting solid metal oxides in an electric furnace to separate the metal from them, then refines the resulting ferronickel by eliminating its sulphur content.

Koniambo Nickel SAS