Clive Palmer has claimed his company Mineralogy has allocated $400 million to reopen the Townsville refinery in 2020.
The announcement follows the mining magnate reaching a settlement in the Federal Court in August over the collapse of Queensland Nickel, which entered into voluntary administration in 2016.
Palmer has persistently urged the Queensland Government to support the reopening of the refinery by allowing the company access to its port berth.
“We have commenced the process of restarting the refinery which will provide substantial employment for the communities of North Queensland,’’ Palmer said.
“We are still hoping to avoid court proceedings with the Port of Townsville and would encourage the Queensland Government to assist in allowing Queensland Nickel access to its port berth so it can process and refine imported ore.”
The company plans to create up to 1000 jobs, with Palmer confirming that the parent company of Mineralogy in Singapore, Mineralogy International, would consider an offer to take control of the refinery’s assets.
“We need to do a lot of heavy lifting to get the refinery reopened and we anticipate, subject to the state government’s assistance with the port issue, that we will have it opened by late 2020 early 2021,’’ Palmer said
“This is reliant on access to the port being granted immediately so we can commission the restart.”
It comes as Palmer agreed to pay the full cost of entitlements for sacked Queensland Nickel workers after reaching a deal with liquidators.
He has since ramped up pressure on the government to support the reopening of the refinery in order to boost the North Queensland economy.
“Under the executed Settlement Agreement, I have paid all that is owed in employee entitlements, under the Fair Entitlement Guarantee, and to creditors. There is nothing outstanding,” Palmer said.
“Everyone has been paid and yet the Queensland Government continues to stop this major project operating, which would have a major economic benefit on the North Queensland economy.”