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Resources Minister keen to help reopen metal project in Far North Qld

Queensland Nickel
Queensland Nickel

A controversial metal refinery in Far North Queensland has the Federal Government’s blessing to reopen after collapsing about three years ago.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has announced there are opportunities to reopen nickel and cobalt mining, and would be pleased to work with mining magnate Clive Palmer on reviving Queensland Nickel’s (QN’s) Yabulu Nickel Refinery, 27km northwest of the Townsville CBD.

‘Jobs to North Qld’

“If we can get a nickel cobalt mine getting back up again in North Queensland, I am happy to have any investor involved,” Canavan told the Seven Network. “I just want to get jobs to North Queensland.”

A total of 218 workers were retrenched a few days before QN entered voluntary administration with $300 million in debts. Palmer, who is keen to reopen the refinery because the market price of nickel is rising again, has voluntarily agreed to pay all worker entitlements through a Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme.

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Compensation starts flowing

As QMEB previously reported Alexander Law principal Sam Iskander, confirmed at least 20 claims totalling $450,000 have already been paid to applicants from the $7 million trust account fund. A further 30 claims were expected to be settled, he said.

If the fund is not exhausted by compensation claims, the remainder will be returned to QN. Applications have now closed.

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