A guided visit of SLN - page 1

All about
Stacker :
heavy tonnage handling equipment, specially equipped to
handle ore at the Doniambo site but also at the mines’ storage areas.
Demag Furnace :
for smelting the ore to transform it into ferronickel
and slag.
Ferronickel / SLN 25 :
patented iron and nickel alloy, containing over
25 % nickel, used for its particular dilatation, magnetic, and corrosion
resistance properties.
Desulphurisation :
action that removes the sulphur or sulphides
from a product.
Bessemer Converter :
a converter invented by Sir Henry Bessemer
to convert molten pig iron into steel by blasting it with air.
Matte :
crude ferronickel, refined to yield a 77 % metal content after
being smelted in the Demag furnaces and then sent to Sandouville.
Where does the ore that is
processed at Doniambo come from ?
The nickel ore processed at the Doniambo plant comes
from the 5 mines operated by SLN : Thio, Kouaoua, Népoui,
Tiébaghi and recently Poum. In addition, SLN subcontracts
mining operations at several other sites.
How is the ore prepared
at the mine ?
Ore beneficiation goes through several stages:
These are aimed at determining the amount of ore, its
chemistry and in particular the nickel grade.
Stripping of topsoil
This stage consists of removing the barren layer (that
does not contain any nickel) covering these deposits. It can
sometimes be over 50 metres thick.
Selective sorting
SLN’s ore processing plants (UTM) in Népoui and Tiébaghi
improve low grade ore with a 1.6 % grade at the mine, and
enrich it by removing tailings to achieve a 2.5 % grade. This
mineral processing technique is patented exclusively by the
ERAMET group.
SLN’s economic contribution
SLN has been mining nickel ore for over 130 years at its
mines throughout New Caledonia’s mainland, Grande Terre.
For over 100 years now, it has been smelting it to extract me-
tal, using a pyrometallurgical process at which it has become
an expert.
Mineral beneficiation
SLN assigns five teams, i.e. around twenty geologists and
technicians, to exploring and developing detailed knowledge
of its mining area. This demonstrates the importance SLN
attributes to the ongoing development of its mining area, in
order to optimise its resources in accordance with its com-
mitment to the « optimal development of New Caledonia’s
mining resources ».
High quality approach for supplying
« SLN 25 » (SLN patent)
Laboratory personnel work night and day, using equipment
at the cutting edge of technology, to analyse every product,
both input and output (ore, fuel oil, coal, shot etc.)
Some 120,000 samples taken throughout the year help to
guide production techniques, ensure compliance with envi-
ronmental regulations and produce high quality nickel metal.
Safety is everyone’s business !
Guaranteeing the health and safety of its personnel is a key
issue for SLN. It has its own Safety Charter.
SLN has its own specific charter to pursue an environmen-
tal policy focused on :
The rational and optimum use of its mining resources ;
The conservation of natural resources and biodiversity ;
Risk management and reducing the impact of its activi-
ties ;
Transparency in its dealings with stakeholders.
ISO 14001 certification for the plant
This is an environmental management system based on a
voluntary approach aimed at reducing environmental impact.
This certification will be rolled out to SLN mines by the end of
Respect for New Caledonia’s
SLN has always been involved in establishing a responsible
biodiversity management strategy so as to limit its direct and
indirect impact on its mining sites.
This strategy is being steered in consultation with stake-
holders (the authorities, scientists and NGOs), supported by
internationally renowned biodiversity conservation experts.
Constantly striving to reduce
its atmospheric emissions
SLN constantly monitors and scrupulously measures its
emissions in order to ensure it always complies with regula-
tions and to remain well below these statutory limits.
Commited to New Caledonia
SLN is committed to ensuring the company’s long term sur-
vival and lasting employment for its workforce. This commit-
ment is founded on respect for the country in which it is based
as well as its people and traditions :
In generating wealth through nearly 10,000 direct, indirect
and induced jobs, SLN is a major player in New Caledonia’s
By establishing partnerships with the municipalities and
Provinces, SLN supports investment programmes and
plays a part in them, within the municipalities where it is
based: water supply systems, housing developments, sup-
port for cultural activities, repairs to sections of municipal
roads, environmental projects etc.
Scientific partnerships have been established aimed at fin-
ding out more about the fauna, flora and lagoon in particu-
lar, whilst stakeholders are consulted on a regular basis so
as to develop mining projects agreed by the local popula-
tion and profitable to everyone.
SLN also has an annual corporate sponsorship pro-
gramme, called Les Nickels de l’Initiative, and supports a
great many projects of a cultural, sporting, social solidarity
or of a training nature every year.
Personnel training
SLN is proud to participate in the development of New
Caledonia, whilst at the same time placing great emphasis on
social cohesion within its company and making it a point of
honour to place its employees’ skills development and creden-
tials at the heart of its priorities, thus proving that competitive-
ness and social commitment are compatible with one another.
On average, SLN devotes almost 6 % of its payroll to training.
Other support given to training initiatives :
Over 300 students given work experience placements in
SLN every year;
Training Centre for Mining and Quarry Techniques at Poro
Support provided for over 20 years for the educational
sponsorship scheme known as the Association Jules Gar-
nier pour un Juvénat Lycéen;
Training courses at the University of New Caledonia, lea-
ding to qualifications (with SLN professionals made avai-
lable to offer instruction);
Intensive study courses - Classes Préparatoires - run at
the Lycée Jules Garnier to prepare students for entrance
exams to prestigious Grandes Écoles.
CNAM training organisation (continuous professional de-
60 % of turnover remains in New Caledonia (over
60 billion FCFP a year).
34 % of company capital is held by the 3 Provinces
(STCPI holding company).
7 billion FCFP is paid in taxes and 3 billion in other
sundry duties and taxes every year on average.
17 billion FCFP is paid out annually in salaries and social
security contributions to 2,200 employees and into
social security schemes.
Almost 10,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
99.8 %
of the dust channelled through the plant is now
recycled and filtered throughout the process.
2.750 billion FCFP
are spent every year on
protecting the mine environment.
1 billion FCFP
is spent annually on improving treatment
of SLN’s atmospheric emissions.
mining maquis trees have been planted (over
160 hectares replanted by hydroseeding).
97 %
of SLN’s employees are New Caledonians.
employees on the payroll, including 800 in the
North Province.
25 billion FCFP
per year on local procurement.
145 million FCFP
spent on scientific and community
600 million FCFP
invested in occupational training.
2 ore tankers
are chartered by SLN on a year round
basis: the
Jules Garnier 2
, the only ore tanker in the
world with a system for combating the « free surface »
effect, and the
. A third is hired periodically, as
and when needed, to boost the fleet.
trips are made by these ore tankers every year
between the mines and the plant.
3.7 million
tonnes of ore are transported to the
plant each year in order to extract 54,000 tonnes ofmetal.
Stainless steel (60 %)
Household appliances
Production tools
Core industry
Building industry
Sent to Eramet’s
Sandouville plant to be
turned into 99.99 %
pure nickel
Wing attachments,
landing gear and turbines
on Airbus planes.
Means of Production:
x 65 MW
Demag furnaces
4 Bessemer converters
2 x 60 T and 20 T
SLN – Le Nickel
MAI 2014
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