South Korea's largest steelmaker Posco said Tuesday its mining joint venture in New Caledonia would nearly double nickel production by 2014, helping provide a stable supply of the key raw material.
"Securing nickel is very important to the stainless steel business due to its price volatility in global markets," Posco said in a statement.
It said Societe Nickel de Nouvelle Caledonie et Coree, a 49:51 venture set up in 2006 between Posco and New Caledonia-based nickel processor Societe Miniere du Sud Pacifique, would raise production to 54,000 tonnes a year by 2014 from the current 30,000.
To process the nickel shipped from New Caledonia, the joint venture plans to invest 480 billion won ($448 million) to build an extra facility by 2014 at the south coast city of Gwangyang.
Nickel accounts for up to 60 percent of the cost of producing stainless steel.
Posco, the world's third-largest steelmaker by output, produces three million tons of stainless steel annually.
Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --