New Caledonia's president, Philippe Germain, has welcomed a push by Paris to convene the territory's Congress to discuss the controversy over nickel exports.
The overseas ministry says Paris invoked for the first time its rights under the organic law to urge the Congress leadership to meet after it earlier rejected a government bid to debate the issue because of a formal flaw.
Mr Germain says the planned session, whose date is yet to be set, will allow a proper democratic debate to take place.
The controversy over proposed nickel exports to China prompted a three-week industrial conflict in August and was settled with a plan to discuss the issue later.
Some parties are opposed to widening nickel exports by supplying China, saying priority should be given to existing off-shore partners.
At the weekend, an estimated 500 people took to the streets of Noumea to express their opposition to exports to China.