Feb. 8 -- New Caledonia nickel producer Societe le Nickel (SLN) said on Wednesday it was monitoring a cyclone in the South Pacific packing winds of 80 kilometres per hour and generating large sea swells.
SLN, part-owned by France's Eramet, was operating its 55,000 tonnes-per-year Doniambo nickel smelter in New Caledonia's capital Noumea normally while keeping an eye on Cyclone Jasmine as it tracked close to Vanuatu, 630 kilometres (400 miles) north, an SLN spokeswoman said.
By 0600 GMT, Jasmine is forecast to reach the New Caledonia island of Mare, less than 100 kilometres northeast of Noumea, according to authorities in New Caledonia. Cyclones in previous years have caused minor disruptions to production.
Two other large nickel projects are under construction in New Caledonia. Brazil's Vale is developing the Goro project in the South Province, while Switzerland's Xstrata is building the Koniambo mining and smelting complex in the North Province.