New Caledonia's main union in the mining sector is alarmed at the low price of nickel, fearing it could lead to the closure of a nickel plant with ensuing job losses.
The Soenc secretary-general Pierre Tuiteala says if one of the big plant closes, the territory's entire economy will suffer a blow with disastrous consequences.
The nickel price has halved over the past two years to about $US9000 a tonne and the territory's three main plants - the bedrocks of the economy - are subsequently running at a loss.
Last month, the head of the Brazilian conglomerate Vale said its New Caledonia operation was under review after reportedly accumulating $US1.3 billion in losses in the past three years.
SLN is losing almost one million US dollars a day.