Reports from New Caledonia say security forces intervened this morning to allow a ferry to take employees of the Vale nickel plant from Noumea to Goro.
The plant is up for sale and local Kanak chiefs as well as pro-independence parties object to it being sold to a consortium Prony Resources.
The sale plan, which was announced last week, has led to more protests as opponents want the plant to be sold to Sofinor of the Northern Province.
Vale has rejected the Sofinor bid and until early December it will negotiate exclusively with Prony Resources, which has the backing of both the French government and the government of the Southern province.
Prony Resources is to be half-owned by New Caledonian interests and includes a 25-percent stake by a Swiss commodity trader Trafigura.
In September, Vale's planned sale to New Century Resources of Australia failed, prompting the Brazilian owner to warn of the site's closure if no buyer was found by the end of October.
The Vale plant is a key employer in the very south of New Caledonia's main island.