The Yabulu Refinery will remain open under a new joint venture manager, Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd., which will be headed by Clive Palmer. Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd. will replace Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd. as the manager of the operations at the Yabulu Refinery and associated Townsville Port facilities with immediate effect. Palmer said Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd. has funding to support the business operation of the Yabulu Refinery.
“The funding facility will be secured against assets outside of Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd., which were not available to the voluntary administrators in the discharge of their duties as manager of the Yabulu Refinery,” Palmer said. The additional funding will keep the Yabulu Refinery running and underpins its importance to the north Queensland economy, he added.
“I have been working diligently for weeks to find a solution to secure the long-term operations of the Yabulu Refinery and its workforce in the best interests of the Townsville economy,” Palmer said. “I have been harshly vilified with false allegations in respect of this matter. The Queensland government and the Treasurer Curtis Pitt have done nothing to protect the livelihoods of the people of north Queensland.
“While we have fought hard to keep the Yabulu Refinery operating, we have seen the Palaszczuk government sitting on its hands while 22,000 jobs have been lost in the Queensland resources industry over the past 12 months.”
Palmer said Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd. will offer all current employees of Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd. employment on the same terms and conditions as they are currently engaged.
“BHP wanted to close the Yabulu Refinery in 2009 before we took it over and since then, we have achieved world best in production while the nickel price has dropped from $7.50 to as low as $3.50,” Palmer said. “This achievement could have only happened with the hard work and perseverance of senior management and our staff.”