Palmer's demands to restart Qld nickel

By Nathan Paull
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Meeting over buyout for Palmer refinery

Creditors and workers sacked from Clive Palmer's nickel refinery will meet to discuss a buyout.

Clive Palmer has issued a number of demands he says must be met in order to save his embattled nickel refinery in light of the Queensland and federal governments having so far done nothing to help sacked workers.

Queensland Nickel Sales has written to the Queensland government outlining five requirements for operations at the refinery to recommence from July, including the transfer of approvals from the original company to the administrator.

"I think it's important to make sure that the Queensland government wants to see manufacturing in this state," Mr Palmer told reporters on Monday.

He also said the administrator, FTI Consulting, needed to return assets from the previous Queensland Nickel Ltd to Queensland Nickel Sales.

"The administrators had not transferred the cash balance of approximately $10 million to the account of QNS as it was required to do," he said.

"Because of the cancellation of nickel ore orders by the administrators, there is no nickel ore projected to be delivered to the refinery."

Mr Palmer said that was a key reason why the project's start-up date was estimated to be around July 31.

"That may be able to be changed in either direction in relation to the applications which are currently before the government," he said.

Mr Palmer said he was unable to guarantee the refinery's sacked workers they would receive their entitlements because "it was up to the administrator".

"He's got to accept our offer (and) I think you've got to understand the process," he said.

The businessman-turned-politician said he offered to the administrator about $250 million worth of assets that could be sold to pay workers' entitlements.

"I'm very concerned right now for the people who have got mortgages and normal commitments that we all have to meet between now and July 2016," he said.

"What can we do about that? We can move as quickly as we can and we've done it with a deed of arrangement with the administrator this morning and hopefully that can be resolved in April (at the creditors' meeting)."

Mr Palmer said he wasn't hopeful a proposed community buy-out plan for the refinery could work given the cost of running the project.