The Goro Nickel mining company in New Caledonia says a waste disposal pipe and a UNESCO protected area could coexist.
Goro has temporarily suspended the building of an underwater waste pipe amid complaints it would cause environmental damage.
The opponents say they want the construction to remain on hold until at least July when UNESCO will decide on the world heritage status of the area close to the pipe pathway.
But Goro Nickel's spokesperson, Catherine Guillaume, says it plans more talks with its opponents and is confident that the situation will be resolved soon.
"We think that there's no problem having the Goro Nickel project and the UNESCO listing together. It's totally compatible."
Catherine Guillaume says she's expecting no cost blow out or delay to the project.
Production is due to start later this year.