The Queensland Government has approved plans for a nickel refinery at Gladstone that could create 2600 new jobs and add $500 million a year to the economy.
Acting Premier Paul Lucas said the Gladstone Pacific Nickel project would be Australia’s largest nickel refinery.
“This project has the capacity to create 2000 construction jobs in Gladstone, with another 1750 if it is expanded to a second stage later on,” Lucas said.
“Once it’s built, the refinery will employ around 530 people here in Gladstone in permanent operational jobs.
“The project also includes a mine at Marlborough, 180 kilometres north west of Gladstone, that would generate 600 construction jobs and 150 new ongoing jobs.
Once operating, the refinery is expected to inject $513 million into Queensland’s economy each year.
The refinery will be built on old degraded grazing land identified as unfit for agricultural purposes that falls within the Gladstone State Development area.
Stage one of the refinery, could produce 63,000 tonnes of nickel, 6000 tonnes of cobalt and around 175,000 tonnes of ammonium sulphate a year from 2013.