SYDNEY (Reuters) - A worker died in an accident at a nickel smelter in the New Caledonian capital of Noumea on Monday, said the plant’s operator Societe le Nickel, a subsidiary of French conglomerate Eramet SA.
The 35-year-old father of five slipped 10 meters at the Doniambo plant around midnight; and his colleagues’ efforts to revive him failed, a company statement said.
The company gave no other details of the accident and did not say whether production was suspended, although an investigation is underway.
A Societe le Nickel spokesman declined to elaborate when contacted by Reuters.
“All our thoughts are turned towards his family, his friends and his colleagues at work,” the statement added. Union officials and the company are scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, is one of the world’s largest sources of nickel, and mining and metals processing plays a major role in its economy.
Reporting by Tom Westbrook, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips