New Caledonia: achieving greater dialogue and community support

SLN, an Eramet subsidiary, has been in New Caledonia since the nineteenth century, and works actively to promote the region's development. Having embarked on a major transformation, the company has been looking for ways to strengthen its dialogue with local communities.

Building community dialogue: a key issue

As it undergoes a major economic transformation, SLN has made substantial efforts over the past few years to improve relations with interested parties, with the goal of increasing the number of discussions and acknowledging the concerns of local bodies and communities more effectively. 

To that end, in 2017 and 2018, SLN employees met with nearly 500 people, including municipal leaders and traditional leaders, women, and young people. The discussions, which were designed to yield greater insight into their perceptions of the company and their expectations, led to a thorough re-examination of the company's relations with external stakeholders. 

To achieve smoother, ongoing discussions, a Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Department was created, with a team of Interested Parties Managers (IPMs) in charge of maintaining community dialogue. A community relations office was also opened in Koné, the capital of the Nord Province, in order to establish closer ties with the region's communities. 

The department has been given two strategic objectives: first, to structure relations with local bodies and communities around issues that involve the company; and second, to ramp up the company's contributions to community well-being. 

Contributing to the region's development

Nearly 1,900 employees, 16 billion CFP francs in salaries and social security contributions, 1,200 partner companies, 10,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs... These figures, which relate to the company's direct activities in 2018, convey only some of the contributions the Group has made to the region's development.

  • 60 billion CFP francs: the annual economic benefits that SLN is estimated to have generated for the country

In addition to the direct and indirect economic benefits it creates through jobs and sub-contracting, SLN also works tirelessly to diversify the country's economy beyond nickel extraction, in partnership with local municipalities and micro-credit institutions.

  • 120 economic projects supported, including via micro-credit, in collaboration with partner associations (ADIE, Initiative NC, etc.).

As part of its sponsorship program, Le Nickel-SLN, the company also supports numerous projects every year, in five key areas: social action, the environment, sports, culture, and science & learning. 

The company's social initiatives, which include contributions to infrastructure development, have helped the country build bridges, supply drinking water, and develop social and educational programs. These programs are developed under multi-party agreements between SLN, local communities, mining towns, and their associated provinces.

« Les nickels de l’initiative », a sponsorship program

This sponsorship program, launched by SLN in 1992, is an annual competition open to associations, clubs, and individuals. To be eligible, proposals must meet specific criteria: they must be sustainable, innovative, non-profit, and carried out in New Caledonia, for New Caledonians. Over the course of the first 26 competitions, a total of 290 proposals have won a combined 125 million CFP francs in donations.