Home arrow About us arrow Koniambo Nickel in a few dates
October 1966

During a visit to the Territory, General de Gaulle announced at Koumac that he was going to authorise and sponsor the setting up of a second nickel processing factory in the north.

1968 - 1971

New Caledonia enjoyed an economic boom thanks to a sharp rise in nickel prices.


The North Province purchased Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (SMSP), whose controlling shareholder was elected member of Congress, political leader and businessman Jacques Lafl eur. In the hands of provincial authorities, SMSP became a tool for economic development.


SMSP gradually acquired mining sites and became an important global exporter of ore.


The signing of the Bercy Accord set in motion the plans to build a metallurgical plant in the North Province.


Start of design engineering and issuing of the main operating and construction permits.

6 March 2006

The Minister of French Overseas Territories, François Baroin, set the first stone for the new factory.

17 October 2007

Xstrata confirmed its commitment to the Koniambo Project and agreed to underwrite all its financing. The forecast construction cost of the project was then set at USD 3.85b. The major construction work for launching the Koniambo Project began.


Start of major earthworks, construction of worksite base camp and dredging of the lagoon channel.


Construction of metallurgical plant modules in China and of electric power station components in India ; development of site infrastructure.

September 2010

Arrival at Koniambo of first metallurgical plant modules ; assembly of these modules and power station components.

2 August 2011

As the overseas work was being completed and as Koniambo Nickel was entering the final phase of the project, it revised the construction budget upward to USD 5b. This announcement was made in a very difficult industrial context already affected by a rapidly expanding world market that was stimulating not only a significant inflation of prices and construction costs, but also wages, through an increasing scarcity of skilled workers.

Q1 2013

first tapping of nickel.


production at full capacity (60,000 tonnes of contained nickel annually).
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Réalisation S.C.S.I. / SkaZy