The World Wildlife Fund has withdrawn its comments and apologised for 'unfounded' claims made about Clive Palmer's nickel refinery in north Queensland.
Earlier this year WWF raised concerns about tailings ponds at the YabuluNickel Refinery near Townsville.
The group said the ponds were at capacity and could collapse during seasonal downpours.
“The threat of a catastrophic disaster to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is very real,” it said.
“The Government needs to urgently reveal how it plans to fix this.”
In a letter to Palmer WWF CEO Dermot O'Gorman withdrew the comments and admitted there was little basis to the claims.
O'Gorman acknowledged work was being done to safely manage the dams, and his admission follows Palmer's move to sue the group over its comments.
With the case settled WWF has agreed to pay Palmer's legal costs, but says it will continue to campaign for environmental protections.