Clive Palmer-owned Queensland Nickel has applied to be the rail operator for the Yabulu Nickel Refinery operations in North Queensland.
The company has insisted that it must take control of transport and logistics from a cost and security perspective in order to remain sustainable and operative.
With works on recommissioning parts of the refinery already under way, and nickel and cobalt production planned for 2020, the refinery is looking to leverage off efficient transport infrastructure.
The project is part of a plan to develop a low cost and high productivity environment, according to managing director of the QNI Resources and QNI Metals joint venture Nui Harris.
“QNI managers have a strong track record of developing… world-class infrastructure, and we look forward to leveraging these skills to operate our own mineral ore logistics operations,” he said.
Yabulu Refinery reopened late last year after it was forced to shut down due to Queensland Nickel entering into voluntary administration in January 2016.
The two-and-a-half years in-between involved an ongoing court case to resolve the compensation arrangements for the hundreds of employees left without work and the $300 million debt the company owed.
Palmer acquired the refinery from BHP Billiton in 2009.