The head of the Vale nickel plant in New Caledonia says the board of directors has approved $US120 million for restructuring the business, which is for sale.
The local public broadcaster reports a buyer is expected to be announced by the end of next month.
Last year, the Brazilian owner announced that it was divesting itself of its 95 percent share in the nickel company.
Vale had been incurring losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars and decided to pull out after earlier contemplating mothballing the nickel plant.
Its managers have now expressed optimism that the plant will not be shut.
More than 100 employees are expected to lose their job once the nickel refinery closes as Vale prioritises making NHC, or nickel hydroxide cake, which is in demand for batteries for electric vehicles.