Koniambo Nickel SAS is a joint venture owned by Société Minière du Sud Pacifique SMSP (51%) and Glencore Xstrata (49%).

The two shareholders have joint control, are equally represented on the corporation’s Board of Directors.

The distribution of the equity between the two shareholders – 51% for SMSP and 49% for Glencore Xstrata – reflects their shared intention to maximise Koniambo Nickel’s financial spinoffs for the local communities in the North Province based on a sustainable development perspective.

Glencore Xstrata agreed to ensure that all of the Project’s construction costs would be financed. However, as the factory construction progressed, SMSP had opportunities to respond to calls for funds in proportion to its participation in the equity, but was not obliged to do so.

Société Minière du Sud Pacifique

André DANG VAN NHA"For SMSP, the North Plant fulfils the fundamental, inescapable objective of correcting the Territory’s economic and social imbalance through a strategy of developing and optimising resources that can be mobilised. It thus symbolises a veritable quest for economic emancipation made possible by this economic rebalancing – a cornerstone for building a shared future. Thanks to our efforts and to the work of our partner, it has become a reality. The resulting changes have come very quickly, and our responsibility now is to ensure that these changes do not ravage the people and their living environments but lift them higher.”

Chief Executive Officer, SMSP

The North Province’s financial arm

Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (SMSP) is a subsidiary of the North Province’s financial arm – Société de Financement et d’Investissement de la Province Nord (SOFINOR) – and Société de Développement des Îles Loyauté (SODIL).

SMSP is a mining company primarily involved in metallurgy; it holds 51% of every joint venture in which it is an industrial partner. In the case of Koniambo Nickel SAS, it holds 51%, while the remaining 49% is held by Glencore Xstrata. The purpose of this joint venture is to process garnierite ore mined from the Koniambo Massif. SMSP also holds 51% in each of Nickel Mining Company SAS (NMC) and Société du nickel de Nouvelle-Calédonie et Corée (SNNC Co Ltd). The remaining 49% in these joint ventures is held by South Korean steelmaker POSCO.

By creating a separate industry cluster, this partnership complements SMSP’s partnership in the North Plant, for the lower-grade garnierite ore mined in Ouaco, Poya, Nakety and Kouaoua is processed in Korea. SMSP also holds 51% in Caledonian Chinese Mining Company SAS (CCMC), in partnership with Jinchuan (China). The purpose of this joint venture is to process laterite ore.

Value-adding approach

As an essential stakeholder in and contributor to the economic rebalancing of New Caledonia, SMSP has embarked on a nickel production strategy designed to derive value from the mineral resource. It began in 1998 by signing the Bercy Accords, which marked the official beginning of the North Plant Project.


Ten years later, in partnership with POSCO, it created a new pathway for deriving value from the resource by processing “low-grade ore” and giving a new lease of life to some mines that would otherwise have been shut down for want of an economically viable ore grade. More recently, SMSP and POSCO agreed to expand their production capacity from 30,000 to 54,000 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel.

For SMSP, construction of the North Plant fulfils the fundamental, inescapable objective of correcting the Territory’s economic and social imbalance through a strategy of acquisition and development of mineral resources to the benefit of the entire country. The North Plant thus symbolises a quest for economic emancipation achieved by communities adhering to and promoting a project that creates an opportunity enjoining all of New Caledonia’s cultures in this economic rebalancing – a cornerstone for building a shared future.
logo SMSP


Peter Johnston"Glencore is proud to see Koniambo Nickel into production and looks forward to it bringing considerable benefits to New Caledonia and all stakeholders. The quality of our local team, combined with Glencore’s technical and marketing expertise, and our considerable financial backing, has made this project a reality. As the joint venture manager, we have worked alongside our local partner to ensure Koniambo Nickel will be a world-class operation with leading standards of health and safety, environmental stewardship and community practices.”

Peter Johnston
Peter Johnston, Head of Nickel Assets, Glencore

Glencore Xstrata is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and is one of the biggest companies within the FTSE 100 Index. The company is structured into three distinct business segments:

  • • Metals and minerals: focusing on copper, nickel, zinc/lead, alloys, alumina/aluminium and iron ore. Glencore Xstrata holds assets that include mining, smelting, refining and warehousing operations.
  • • Energy products: Glencore Xstrata is also focused on the extraction, transportation and storage of oil and coal.
  • • Agricultural products: The Group is also invested in grains, oils/oilseeds, cotton and sugar.

The Group’s industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of more than 90 offices located in over 50 countries. Its diversified operations comprise over 150 mining and metallurgical sites, offshore oil production assets, farms and agricultural facilities. It employs approximately 190,000 people, including contractors.

Nickel commodity branch

With mines, factories and processing facilities in Canada, Dominican Republic, Australia and Norway, Glencore Xstrata’s nickel commodity branch holds a portfolio of growth projects, as it does here in New Caledonia and in Tanzania. While it is the fourth largest producer of nickel worldwide, with annual production nearing 143,000 tonnes of refined nickel, the branch also markets nickel and ferronickel ranked among the purest in the world.

logo glencore xstrata
Koniambo Nickel SAS