Philippe Germain

New Caledonian blockade set to continue

Several access sites are expected to be blocked from early this morning by truck drivers frustrated by a decision not to allow low grade ore exports to China.

Last week they blocked all main routes into the city for days, allowing only emergency vehicles through, and many businesses on Friday opten to close for the day.

On Friday night, a young man died in a car accident involving one of the blockades, prompting the president of the New Caledonian government, Philippe Germain, to call for a return to order, to give respect to the grieving family.

New Caledonia unrest linked to contractor protests

It comes as unrest and fires broke out close to the southern town of Mt Dore which along with other roads in to nearby Noumea was effectively blocked by the protesting groups.

A policeman has reportedly been shot and wounded during an intervention to counter a fire that broke out near the area, in St Louis.

Ground reports indicate the unrest is a sequel to a protest by truck drivers about the territory's mining policy two weeks ago.

They want New Caledonia's government to begin exporting ore to China after a fall in exports to South Korea, Japan and Australia.