Provincial authorities in New Caledonia have agreed to begin talks with the French metals mining group, Eramet, on taking over its local unit.
The decision was taken at the AGM of Societe Territoriale Caledonienne de Participation Industrielle, which holds the 34 percent stake in Eramet unit SLN owned by the three New Caledonia regions.
The President of Societe Territoriale Caledonienne de Participation Industrielle, Louis Mapoum, says it is important that they take the initiative to begin negotiations with Eramet.
SLN, running the nickel mining operations on New Caledonia, is the island's largest private sector employer and most important economic actor.
Eramet, which holds 56 percent of SLN, has recently said it is opposed to any change in control at the company.