Clive Palmer said today that his company had allocated $400 million to reopen the refinery in Townsville in 2020.
“We have commenced the process of restarting the refinery which will provide substantial employment for the communities of North Queensland,’’ Mr 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.”
Mr Palmer has called on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington to put politics aside and allow the Townsville refinery to get back into production so it can begin employing North Queenslanders.
“It is unbelievable we have been denied access to our port berth,’’ he said.
The business plans to provide up to a 1000 jobs, with Mr Palmer confirming that the parent company of Mineralogy in Singapore, Mineralogy International Pte Ltd, would take an option over all 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,’’ he said
“This is reliant on access to the port being granted immediately so we can commission the restart.”
“The Special Purpose Liquidator (SPL) has released me and all other defendants from all claims and they have also unequivocally withdrawn all allegations against me because they knew they were false,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“It is vindication for me and all defendants that the Special Purpose Liquidators withdrew all their claims and allegations.
“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.
“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’’ he said.
Mr Palmer also said it was outrageous that the General Purpose Liquidator (GPL) had made further bogus claims for political purposes.
“It’ is in the interests of the people of Townsville and the North Queensland economy that this project is opened.
“North Queensland desperately needs jobs and we have a high resolve and commitment to the people of North Queensland to provide them,’’ Mr Palmer said.