A joint venture was signed last week between New Caledonia’s MKM company and China’s Jin Pei to mine New Caledonia’s low quality ore reserves and ship them to northern Vanuatu to a smelter yet to be built.
Following the Vanuatu government’s claim that it knows nothing about the project and would not approve of it, the Chinese embassy in Port Vila said that it is also not aware of the venture.
Furthermore, the chief executive officer of Vanuatu’s Investment Promotion authority, Smith Tebu, says that his office has not received an application regarding the construction of a plant in Vanuatu by companies from New Caledonia and China.
The Nagriamel custom movement in Santo says it’s also yet to look at the project.
Its spokesman Jeff Patunvanu, says that while Vanuatu needs investment, the investors must respect the laws and procedures of the country.