Sun Metals Zinc Refinery Expansion
Sun Metals Zinc Refinery announced $300 million expansion project of its refinery south of Townsville has been approved for go ahead with the support of the Queensland government.
The expansion is expected to increase the refinery’s zinc production from around 225,000 tonnes per year to 270,000 tonnes.
Sun Metals Corporation CEO Yun 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,” said Choi.
“Sun Metals is a significant local community contributor, continuously investing into local partnerships, and this is a real opportunity reaffirming that Townsville North Queensland is back in business.”
Work would begin immediately and was expected to be complete by the first half of 2021.
“As an organisation we’ve been working on this very hard for the last 18 months,” Sun Metals’ executive director Kathy Danaher said.
By the time the project is complete, 350 construction jobs will be created and 100 ongoing refinery, transport and logistics jobs delivered.
Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk travelled to Townsville to join the announcement at the Sun Metals Refinery plant boasting of the benefits in jobs and the flow on effects to business and the community.
The Korean-owned refinery has been appealing to the Queensland government for decades to carry out the expansion, with port access and transport being major infrastructure developments needed. The company had plans of expansion when it first established the refinery in Townsville over two decades ago.
The Economic Impact Statement for the expansion works was released in March 2017 by Townville Enterprise in conjunction with Sun Metals. The findings of the EIS was that the refinery contributed to local, state and national economies and identified significant numbers of jobs would be created.
Townsville Enterprise in their statement said; “Sun Metals is to be commended on its continued investment into our region despite challenging economic times, with this announcement off the back of a $200M solar farm investment, which is now operational, bringing the refinery’s total investment into Townsville in excess of $500M.”
“We are now seeing the return of significant private sector investment off the back of all levels of government indicating their confidence in the future of Townsville and North Queensland through recent funding announcements.
“Sun Metals is a significant local community contributor, continuously investing into local partnerships, and this is a real opportunity reaffirming that Townsville North Queensland is back in business.
During an earlier trade mission, the Premier travelled to Korea to meet the Sun Metals CEO Yun Choi and the executive of its parent company Korea Zinc, to secure Korea Zinc’s investment and partnership with the Queensland government, to being the project to fruition.
Queensland Resources Council said the resources sector delivered $925 million to the Townsville economy in 2017-18. The sector also supported close to 6,000 full time jobs. The zinc refinery expansion is expected to supply 825 direct and indirect jobs into the economy.
QRC Chairman, Ian MacFarlane said, “It’s another example of resources doing the heavy lifting when it comes to underpinning the economies of regional cities and Townsville will continue to benefit with the recently announced investments into the Galilee Basin.”
“Zinc is a key ingredient in alkaline batteries and with Christmas upon us it’s a timely reminder not to forget to buy batteries if your Christmas presents need them and think of the old zinc cream on the nose at the beach.
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