The nickel company Vale in New Caledonia says a few litres of acid have been spilled in a storage area at the port in Prony.
The company says when the leak of hydrochloric acid was detected, specialist staff immediately found its source and contained it.
Nobody was injured and reports say there has been no impact on the environment.
Last year, two workers needed medical care after suffering burns from acidic steam.
In 2010 the Vale nickel plant overhauled some procedures and revised safety rules after a worker was burnt by spurting acid.