It is a welcomed announcement by the Premier in Townsville this morning that the Sun Metals Zinc Refinery's expansion has been given the green light, turbocharging jobs and further flow on effects to local businesses and our community.
The $300M expansion will create 350 jobs during construction, and up to 100 ongoing jobs covering refinery, transport and logistics opportunities.
This proposal has been on the table since Sun Metals first laid its foundations in Townsville over two decades ago, and the refinery has continued chipping away and working with Government to ensure the project could become a reality.
It was only in March 2017 that we released an Economic Impact Statement, in partnership with Sun Metals into this expansion, which confirmed the refinery’s vital contribution to local, state and national economies and identified significant job creation as a result of the upgrade going ahead. Read the full details of that Advocacy Alert here.
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.
We acknowledge the Premier, who has just returned from Korea with Sun Metals CEO Yun Choi, meeting with parent company Korea Zinc, for demonstrating her Government's confidence in our region and for actively working with Sun Metals to bring this project to fruition.