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Palmer eyes government guarantor deal to keep refinery afloat

Posted December 10, 2015 19:31:06

Clive Palmer has insisted he is not in search of a Queensland Government bail-out for his Townsville nickel refinery.

But the higher-profile businessman and federal MP admitted he would like the state to go guarantor for a $ 35 million bank loan to preserve Queensland Nickel afloat.

Mr Palmer met with the Queensland Treasurer on Tuesday, requesting help to keep the Yabulu smelter, near Townsville, open.

Mr Palmer stated Queensland Nickel had a money flow deficit, but reiterated the firm could trade its way out of trouble.

He said he wanted to set the record straight about the future of the refinery, which has more than 700 workers.

Mr Palmer mentioned he was “personally attacked” due to the fact he was a politician, and that he had not held a director position in the business considering that becoming the Member for Fairfax in 2013.

“Just like many firms with a sturdy balance sheet and modest cash-flow deficit, Queensland Nickel approached the four major Australian banks for help,” Mr Palmer stated.

“Despite unencumbered assets of practically $ two billion, it was denied a $ 35 million overdraft by the 4 main Australian banks.

“I have been informed Queensland Nickel was told that in the present investment atmosphere they would not lend to a sources business.”

Mr Palmer mentioned Queensland Nickel’s assets totalled nearly $ two billion and that the balance sheet looked robust.

Earlier nowadays, he stated workers’ entitlements would be “properly and actually covered” regardless of what happened to the refinery.

“Banks are not supporting the resources sector — which is in a downturn cycle — as a matter of policy and this is a main difficulty,” Mr Palmer said.

“This ought to therefore be a matter of concern for each the Queensland and federal governments.

“At no time did Queensland Nickel request taxpayer funds, only a assure from the Queensland Government and for safety of the assure for $ 35 million, Queensland Nickel provided its balance sheet of practically $ two billion.

“In my assessment, this is a danger-free of charge proposition that would ensure the continued operation of the refinery.”

Topics: mining-business, state-parliament, organization-economics-and-finance, townsville-4810, qld

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