New Caledonia's Goro Nickel company says the territory's northern project will go ahead should Inco and Falconbridge merge.
This comes after the world's second largest nickel producer, Inco of Canada, has offered to take over Canadian company, Falconbridge.
Falconbridge was to decide by the end of this year whether to proceed with the government-backed nickel plant project in the north.
At the same time, Inco is building the region's largest industrial project at Goro in the south.
A spokeswoman for Goro Nickel in Noumea, Catherine Guillaume, says Inco is waiting for the decision to be finalised in the next few months.
"It's a really great chance in the sense that the northern project will really be able to be launched. That was not sure before, so it will be a boost in terms of the big project."
She says New Caledonia would benefit economically from the planned merger.