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Refinery expansion a jobs bonanza for Townsville

A $300 million expansion of the Sun Metals Zinc Refinery is set to bring hundreds more jobs to the North. 

Following a recent Trade Mission to South Korea where the deal was sealed, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was in Townsville today to make the announcement alongside Sun Metals Chief Financial Officer Kathy Danaher.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke were also there for the exciting news.

“Korea Zinc Company (KZC) will invest around $300 million to expand its Australian subsidiary, Sun Metals Corporation (SMC), in North Queensland,” the Premier said.

“This is a huge day for Townsville and the surrounding region because the expansion is expected to support an estimated 350 jobs during construction, and there will be around 100 additional permanent refinery and logistic workers once operational.

“Zinc production will increase from around 220,000 to 270,000 tonnes per year which is great news for North Queensland and for Sun Metals Corporation, and it contributes to my Government’s priorities which include creating jobs in a strong economy.”

SMC CEO Mr. Yun Choi thanked the Premier and the State Government for their involvement in key issues which paved the way for the announcement of the expansion to proceed.

“We’d really like to personally thank the Premier and her government for all their hard work has allowed for us to make this important announcement today,” Mr Choi said.

“SMC has consistently said the key to making today’s announcement was working out logistics around port access and access to the road network, thanks to the leadership of the Premier, those issues have now been resolved.

“This announcement is great news for Townsville and also the greater Townsville region as we expect the expansion will have a significant impact to the regional economy.”

The Premier said Sun Metals Corporation’s direct impact on the North Queensland economy was significant.

“I would like to thank Korea Zinc Company and its Australian subsidiary, SMC for showing such confidence in North Queensland and its workforce, and we look forward to continuing with this successful relationship into the future,” she said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart welcomed the news of the expansion of the zinc refinery which follows the opening of SMC’s 125-megawatt solar farm at the site in August.

“The solar farm is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere and is the biggest in Australia,” Mr Stewart said.

“The $200 million solar facility will produce up to one-third of the refinery’s energy needs ensuring the viability of the existing plant and supporting the expansion.”

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said Sun Metals Corporation is now the largest single-site renewable energy consumer in Australia.

“The refinery expansion and the building of the solar farm display the confidence SMC has in Queensland’s economy, and the company has been a huge support for North Queensland for 20 years,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

Sun Metals’ refinery expansion is expected to commence immediately and will likely be completed by the first half of 2021.

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