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Title: Toward a Viable Independence? The Koniambo Project and the Political Economy of Mining in New Caledonia 
Author: Horowitz, Leah S.
Date: 2004
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Horowitz, L. S. 2004. Toward a Viable Independence? The Koniambo Project and the Political Economy of Mining in New Caledonia. The Contemporary Pacific 16 (2): 287-319.
Abstract: In New Caledonia, pro-independence leaders perceive economic autonomy as a
prerequisite for political independence. The Koniambo Project, a joint venture
between a Canadian multinational and a local mining company, is seen by many
Kanak as an opportunity to loosen economic ties to metropolitan France. Indeed,
unlike cases in which large-scale resource extraction has disadvantaged local
groups and intensified demands for political rights, the Koniambo Project resulted
from pro-independence activism. This atypical situation can be explained by the
French government’s strategy in New Caledonia. Violent uprisings in the mid-
1980s ended with accords that promised economic development. Radical activists
believed this would pave the way for independence while their opponents
hoped to obviate such aspirations. Similarly, the Koniambo Project is viewed
either as an opportunity for greater Kanak autonomy or as yet another in a series
of actions that have used economic gains to deter pro-independence efforts.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Keywords: New Caledonia, Kanak, mining, indpendence movement, Koniambo Project, Falconbridge, France
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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