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Tonga Ports Authority signs MoU with Royal Lalanga Fononga to import ferronickel slag from New Caledonia

The Ports Authority Tonga (PAT) will partner with a new society to import ferronickel slag from New Caledonia for major infrastructure projects.

An agreement to form a partnership company was signed yesterday by Daniel Kimball Fale, PAT Board chairman, and Viliami Lolohea, President of the International Board of the Royal Lalanga Fononga Society.

Daniel said that the new company would import ferronickel slag from New Caledonia for the production of bricks and other products.

“What is great about this development is that slag/black sand will be cheaper than buying sand locally, which of course we are not allowed ... but of course the quality of cement blocks and marine infrastructure will actually last longer, because when slag is mixed with cement, it's very water resistance.

“For example, a wharf that is made with the local sand, probably will last for about 50 years, but with the new slag, it will probably last for over 100 years,” he said.

The Ports Authority Tonga is a Public Enterprise, owned by government. Daniel said they have a number of construction projects and “this is an opportunity for the Ports Authority to get slag (cheap sand) for its infrastructure projects.”

The Royal Lalanga Fononga Society introduced ferronickel slag to Tonga to replace sand for the making of bricks for house building. The first slag bricks house for Tonga is currently under construction at Fangaloto.

Ferronickel slag is a by-product of nickel production that is used as an alternative to sand.

The Royal Lalanga Fononga, is styled as “an International NGO for the Pacific”.

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