The union behind a three-week long industrial conflict in New Caledonia last month has welcomed a debate about the future of the territory's nickel exports.
In an interview on local television, a union spokesperson, Max Foucher, said there is no doubt that allowing exports to China is the only solution to arrest decling exports to Australia.
In August, truck drivers set up blockades that brought the capital, Noumea, to a standstill to protest the government's policy to not approve exports of low grade ore to China.
Last week, the French overseas ministry invoked its rights under organic law to force the territory's government to debate the issue of nickel exports.
Mr Foucher says he welcomes the debate, saying the decline is threatening jobs and livelihoods.