Traditional New Caledonian land owners of the Vale nickel plant are in Vanuatu as part of a team seeking to negotiate the import of Vanuatu limestone.
They are meeting government leaders in Port Vila and are preparing a visit by a larger delegation in June.
Limestone is needed in large quantities and used to eliminate acid in the waste from nickel processing.
One member of the delegation, Marc Homou, says limestone is sought from Vanuatu not only because of its proximity to the Vale site.
"Limestone from here is the richest in our region. Vale New Caledonia takes limestone from the Philippines but we know limestone from the Philippines or Indonesia is not very clean."