Last week‘s closure of New Caledonia‘s mining centre in Kouaoua has led to 81 employees losing their jobs and seeking temporary state support.
About 400 people have been affected by the mining company SLN‘s decision to halt operations which followed an arson attack and a blockade by a group of locals opposed to a mining expansion.
Most of the staff have been redeployed but in the case of 81 employees an application has been lodged with the labour directorate to maintain their pay.
A ruling is expected within two weeks.
Media reports said talks had been scheduled between traditional landowners who backed the mining expansion and a group of about 50 people whose blockade was aimed at preventing the felling of more endemic oak trees.