The Vale company says its nickel plant in New Caledonia will resume operations soon despite calls for it to be permanently closed.
Operations have been suspended at the Goro plant for just over a week after 100,000 litres of effluent, containing some acid, ended up in a creek.
Chiefs of the tribes in Southern Province are calling for the plant to be shut, and environmentalists say if it is to re-open, better risk management procedures must be put in place.
A spokesperson for Vale International says the plant's operations will resume shortly, but did not give a timeframe.
If the plant were to close, 14,000 jobs could be at stake.