Queensland Nickel Sales

Queensland Nickel, which operated a nickel and cobalt refinery 25 kilometres north-west of Townsville, went into voluntary administration in January 2016.

A new company called Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd took over operations of the refinery and the Environmental Authority (EA) for the refinery was transferred to Queensland Nickel Sales on 11 March 2016.

Subsequently the department issued Queensland Nickel Sales and its parent companies with Environmental Protection Orders to ensure the refinery continues to meet its environmental responsibilities.

As the Environmental Authority holder, Queensland Nickel Sales has environmental obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, addressing both its General Environmental Duty and compliance with its Environmental Authority.

The Environmental Authority sets environmental standards for air, water, regulated structures, noise, land and rehabilitation. Monitoring and reporting conditions are in place to ensure that the Queensland Nickel Sales is complying with these environmental standards.

The requirements of the Environmental Authority also include specific conditions for the post-closure rehabilitation of the company’s Yabulu Nickel Refinery.

Together the Act and Environmental Authority make Queensland Nickel Sales responsible for ensuring the site does not release any contaminants to the environment which could result in environmental harm or nuisance.

The department continues to inspect the Yabulu refinery regularly to monitor compliance.