Clive Palmer was personally warned by the President of New Caledonia that a shutdown of the federal MP’s Townsville nickel refinery would cause “social and political disruption” and even ¬violence in the island nation.
Just days after the Queensland government formally rejected a request to bail out the refinery, sworn affidavits show Mr Palmer met New Caledonia’s Philippe Germain and other political figures last month, with the leaders expressing concerns about the ramifications of a shutdown.
The future of the refinery — which sources most of its nickel ore from New Caledonia — and the jobs of its 767 workers is under a cloud, running at a loss and struggling to meet bills.
Clive Mensink, Mr Palmer’s nephew and the sole director of Queensland Nickel, has sworn the refinery would be closed and the workers sacked this month should the business fail to win new funding.
On Friday night, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt wrote to Mr Palmer and Queensland Nickel to formally reject a request for the state government to guarantee a $35 million loan that the company claims would allow the refinery to remain in operation.
In an affidavit, Mr Mensink said Mr Palmer had met with Mr Germain, the President’s mining adviser Phillip Petre, the president of congress, Thierry Santa, and French high commissioner Vincent Bouvier on or around November 4.
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