A unifying event, and a unique opportunity for Koniambo Nickel to demonstrate its achievements in terms of performance, innovation, respect, presence and sustainability, and to position itself as a vital partner in the industrial and economic life of New Caledonia.
At around 11.10am, the President of the Republic was welcomed by Messrs Peter Hancock, President of Koniambo Nickel, Paul Néaoutyine, President of the Province Nord Assembly, André Dang, President of SMSP and Ivan Glasenberg, President of Glencore AG.
Having greeted the customary and elected dignitaries, the executive committee and the 5 union representatives from Koniambo Nickel, the 6 presidents made their way to the inaugural monument accompanied by Ms George Pau Langevin, Minister for Overseas Departments and Territories and Mr Vincent Bouvier, High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia. Peter Hancock introduced the Presidents to the Nickel Tree monument, sculpted by the artist Adje with a group of young people from Rivière Salée participating in a rehabilitation programme. A Guaiacum tree taking root in a ribbon of nickel tapped from our furnaces. A tree with a red core, like our soil, bearing fruit in the form of nickel, symbolising a return to the earth. Encircled in stainless steel, our nickel tree is protected within its symbolic world representing our life as a community and the ties that we build within it.
Following the unveiling of the monument, the Presidential delegation were taken into the control room where they had the opportunity to greet our employees, learn about our process and finally see for themselves the heart of our industrial site.
The delegation then moved on to the Inaugural Hall, where the 160 or so VIP guests and 150 of our employees had the opportunity to hear a series of 5 speeches. Peter Hancock was the opening speaker, with the final speech being delivered by the President of the Republic. Here's what they had to say, in brief:
"On behalf of all of Koniambo Nickel's employees, thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the long-awaited start of an adventure that is set to run for a long time, an adventure that is proudly named Koniambo Nickel." Peter Hancock, President of Koniambo Nickel.
"I'd like to congratulate all the teams recruited by Koniambo Nickel and its president Peter Hancock, and to thank the two shareholders in our joint venture who are here today, Mr André Dang on behalf of SMSP and Mr Ivan Glasenberg on behalf of Glencore, for setting an example as an innovative partnership for the benefit of our development."
Paul Néaoutyine, President of the Province Nord Assembly.
"Koniambo Nickel stands out not only for its engineering performance, (...) but also its environmental performance. This had to be done in order to live up to the dream. And you've done it." François Hollande, President of the Republic.
This unifying event has presented Koniambo Nickel with a unique opportunity to demonstrate its achievements in terms of performance, innovation, respect, presence and sustainability, and to position itself as a vital partner in the industrial and economic life of New Caledonia. That's what every employee here today has helped to build and to demonstrate to the outside world Each and every one has been proud of our achievements, of being an inseparable link in this great venture of ours as it works towards a performance that will ensure a long-term re-balancing effect.
An inaugural event bearing the hallmark of respect for those who had the dream, for our partners and for all current, past and future employees, whether they are still working alongside us or already exploring new horizons. A shared pride in the journey behind us, the milestones achieved so far and the performance that is still expected of us.
A success story that is shared with heart and soul.
Thank you to everyone, for the lessons we have learned, the permanent structures we have built, our ongoing development and the heart we are all putting into it.