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Eramet seeking new partners for Indonesian nickel project

France's Eramet is seeking new partners for its nickel project inIndonesia following the departure of Japanese firms and , Reutersreported July 7, citing Eramet Chairman and CEO Patrick Buffet.

Citing falling prices, Mitsubishi and Pacific Metals inApril announced they will sell their stakes in the project to Eramet for ¥11billion.

The project was previously due to weak market conditions.

"We've contacted some other groups including Japanesecompanies," Buffet said.

Commenting on nickel's outlook, Paul Desportes, Eramet'svice president of sales and marketing of its nickel division, said prices willlikely recover as long as a deficit continues.

A recovery may accelerate if the Philippines toughens itsenvironmental policies, he added.

The Philippine government recently two nickel projects in theZambales province to suspend operations due to environmental infractions.

As of July 8, US$1 wasequivalent to ¥100.49.