The SLN Nickel, a New Caledonia based nickel export company of Pacific Island has planned to export four million tonnes of nickel ore per annum for the next ten years, following the New Caledonia government giving approval. SLN is New Caledonia's biggest private sector employer. Despite running on a loss, it survived after taking huge loans from its parent company, Eramet and the French government.
The sale of ore to Japan and China is expected to boost the company's revenue. SLN is also looking at implementing restructure aimed at reducing the costs of producing nickel. Initially, the company's bid was opposed by the pro-independence members of the collegial government. They argued that high-quality ore should be processed in New Caledonia and not aboard. However, their policy is for low-grade nickel ore to be used at smelters aboard where New Caledonian interests hold a majority.