Mining magnate Clive Palmer says rumours claiming he might have to close his Yabulu refinery over the Queensland wet season are “bullsh*t”.
According to The Australian there has been speculation Yabulu will have to close from December to March because of a shortage of stockpiled ore.
Larger stockpiles are required during the wet season because rain impedes the ore’s drying process, which needs to be turned over repeatedly to expose it to the sun.
Palmer told The Australian rumours of Yabulu shutting down over the wet season were “bullsh*t” and the operation would have no problem making it through summer.
“We’ve been operating the plant for three years, and every month I’ve had to answer questions about when it would shut down,” he said.
The claims come as Palmer’s Queensland Nickel, which owns Yabulu, aims to sue Northern Stevedoring Services for $7.4 million.
While Queensland Nickel is suing for delays in unloading ships, NSS is counter-suing for an alleged breach of contract.
Queensland Nickel claims the shipping delays lost it the chance to import 570,000 tonnes of nickel, and it’s still counting the costs of not being able to run Yabulu at the optimum level.
NSS blames poor quality ore, bad unloading equipment, and other factors for the delay, and says Queensland Nickel’s contract breach has cost it $1.12 million a month since August.