New Caledonia Nickel Mine 50 years later
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Photo panoramique par Richard Chesher PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Pris 00:37, 15/12/2009 - Views loading...

New Caledonia Nickel Mine 50 years later

The World > Les Iles de l'Océan Pacifique > Mélanesie > Nouvelle Calédonie

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In the 1950's the western shores of the Baie du Prony in New Caledonia was strip mined for nickel and iron. The last ore ship sailed out in September of 1968 and the land was left to regenerate. As you can see by looking at the other sphere images we have taken near this location, wilderness has returned to much of the land near the mines over the past 42 years, but the areas that were actively mined remain as you see in this image - very much like a Martian landscape. Back in 1984 I wrote about this recovery as "a fold in time" when people briefly left the area alone. The fold is now closing and there is a new, truly enormous strip mining operation and nickel processing plant closing the fold in time on the Baie de Prony. We call it Mordor and it has already launched an attack on Middle Earth. The area around the anchorage in the northern part of Baie du Prony, including the watersheds of the 5 small rivers that enter the Baie de Carenage, is still gloriously free of human habitation and disturbance. It retains the sense of wilderness and beauty described in 1984, but the land has already been leased for strip mining so the memory bubbles on 360Cities.net and Google Earth will one day soon be all that remains of this natural beauty.

When I took this sphere image I called it "The Cauldron", thinking of a mind experiment described in the Fold in Time. It was about 40 degrees C with the heat of the sun amplified by land that looked and felt like burning coal. The ore content is, strangely enough, just the right proportion of iron and nickel to make stainless steel. So what you see here are the glowing embers of a fire that yielded thousands upon thousands of stainless steel pots, pans, utensils, and other items necessary for our modern existence. I'm a fan of stainless steel and happy to have it for lots of essentials. Like you, I'm techno-dependent. And I realize we can't have our technology without removing the ore from the Earth. I also know we can't do that without causing long-lasting damage to the creatures that live over that ore. Nobody lives around the Baie du Prony because the land is so rich in heavy metals - like chrome - that the soil does not support our agricultural plants and the water is not safe to drink for long periods of time. So there isn't much that stands in the way of the gigantic mining machines. The mining company swears up and down that it's going to be very careful and environmentally safe as it levels the mountains.

If you want to come to New Caledonia and see it now - before the mining comes this way - download a copy of the Guide to New Caledonia and book your reservations. Or if you have a yacht, download a copy of the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia and come enjoy this strange and beautiful wilderness while it lasts.

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Images à proximité de Nouvelle Calédonie

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A: New Caledonia History Prony Poudriere

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.0 km

In the late 1800's the French set up a prison colony in the Baie du Prony, New Caledonia. The prisone...

New Caledonia History Prony Poudriere

B: New Caledonia Flowers Heliconia Prony Village Ruins

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.1 km

The ruins of a prison colony in Prony, New Caledonia are overgrown with Banyon tree roots. This Helic...

New Caledonia Flowers Heliconia Prony Village Ruins

C: Fish Attack New Caledonia Blue River Prony

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.2 km

The fresh water fish in this wonderful swimming hole on the NC-GR1 walking track in New Caledonia are...

Fish Attack New Caledonia Blue River Prony

D: Rivier Bleue Prony New Caledonia

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.2 km

The Riviere Bleue de Prony is one of the delightful stops on the GR1-NC trek from Prony to Dumbea. Th...

Rivier Bleue Prony New Caledonia

E: New Caledonia History Prony Jail

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.2 km

In the late 1867 Captain Hippolyte Sebert founded the Village of Prony to begin the work of cutting t...

New Caledonia History Prony Jail

F: Swimming in New Caledonia Rivers

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.3 km

Swimming in the rivers of New Caledonia in the heat of a mid-summer day is right there next to paradi...

Swimming in New Caledonia Rivers

G: River Rapids Rock Sphere New Caledonia

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.3 km

There are a couple of mysteries about this sphere image. One mystery I know the answer to (but you do...

River Rapids Rock Sphere New Caledonia

H: Trekking New Caledonia GRNC1 Fern Glen

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.4 km

The GRNC1 is a walking trail that will, someday, go from one end of Grande Terre, New Caledonia to th...

Trekking New Caledonia GRNC1 Fern Glen

I: Mangroves New Caledonia

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.8 km

In New Caledonia, the red mangrove, Lumnitzera littorea, bursts into clusters of tiny, brilliant red ...

Mangroves New Caledonia

J: Pepite River Prony New Caledonia

Par Richard Chesher, A 1.8 km

I have taken quite a few sphere images of Pipete River. You can, from the comfort of your where you a...

Pepite River Prony New Caledonia

Ce panorama é été pris à Nouvelle Calédonie

Ceci est un aperçu de Nouvelle Calédonie

Une Nation du Pacifique Sud, la plus proche de l'Australie et de la Nouvelle Zélande. Une chaîne de hautes montagnes, d'impressionnantes cascades et de nombreuses rivières avec une flore et une faune variée et souvent unique au monde - C'est le paradis de la randonnée pédestre ou équestre ainsi que de l'excursion en véhicule tout-terrain.

Le plus grand lagon du monde, peuplé d'une faune tropicale endémique particulièrement riche, avec des récifs et des populations de poissons rares et protégées. Des centaines d'épaves sous-marines, des îlots, de nombreuses plages de sable blanc.

La population calédonienne est issue d'un large brassage culturel : Mélanésiens, Européens, Polynésiens, Vietnamiens, Chinois, Japonais, et la langue et culture française. La Nouvelle-Calédonie est dotée de très bonnes infrastructures médicales et sociales.

Une infrastructure touristique qui offre un large éventail de types d'hébergement allant de l'hôtel 5 étoiles au camping aménagé en passant par l'accueil en milieu tribal, les chambres d'hôtes, les refuges et l'auberge de jeunesse.

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