Sun shines its magic on workforce
JUST one day after announcing a $ 300 million expansion of its Townsville zinc refinery Sun Metals Corporation has already begun work on the project.
The South Korea- owned company confirmed it has started preparing the tendering process for the construction contract, while an existing Sun Metals team is conducting early planning works.
The expansion, which was formally announced by the company with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday, is expected to create about 350 jobs during construction and 100 permanent jobs once complete.
The expansion is due to finish construction in the first half of 2021.
Sun Metals executive director Kathy Danaher said the new ongoing jobs would be created throughout the refinery’s supply chain.
“The ongoing jobs are a mixture of process people, so there will be more process people in the refinery, there will also be more logistics people in terms of trucking and working through with the Port,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the Government had helped Sun Metals resolve issues with transport and access to the Port of Townsville that had initially stalled the expansion plan.
“We needed some transport issues resolved so they were finalised … and also there was access to the extra berths at the port and the ability to also use a new mobile harbour crane and those issues were resolved with the port just earlier this week,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she believed projects like the expansion would help bring down Townsville’s high unemployment rate.
“It’s announcements like this that clearly show jobs are on the horizon,” she said.
“I know that people have been doing it tough, and a lot of people have been doing it tough since the closure of Queensland Nickel and we all know what happened there.”
Sun Metals chief executive officer Yun Choi said the project would have a “significant” economic impact on the Townsville region.
Mr Choi said the expansion was part of Sun Metal’s “relentless” pursuit of their mission.
“Sun Metals’ mission is to become the safest, the most environmentally responsible and the most competitive zinc refinery in the world,” he said.
Once the expansion is complete the plant’s production of zinc ingot will increase by about 20 per cent.
The refinery’s consumption of electricity will also increase by about 22 per cent.
Earlier this year Sun Metals completed construction of a $ 200 million 125 megawatt solar farm, which now provides about 30 per cent of the refinery’s electricity.
The refinery currently directly employs about 270 people and supports about 100 further jobs through contractors.