Yabulu, Queensland

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Yabulu is located in Queensland
Coordinates 19°12′56″S 146°36′4″E / 19.21556°S 146.60111°E / -19.21556; 146.60111Coordinates: 19°12′56″S 146°36′4″E / 19.21556°S 146.60111°E / -19.21556; 146.60111
Population 675 (2011)[1]
Postcode(s) 4818
LGA(s) City of Townsville
State electorate(s) Thuringowa
Federal Division(s) Herbert
Suburbs around Yabulu:
Purono Park Saunders Beach Bushland Beach
Bluewater Yabulu Black River
Bluewater Park Alice River Black River

Yabulu is a small residential suburb approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 Australian Census the population of Yabulu was 675.[1] The Bruce Highway passes through the suburb which fronts Halifax Bay.

Yabulu is the site of a major nickel and cobalt refinery, owned by Clive Palmer. Facilities located at Yabulu include a Caltex service station.

Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery[edit]

The Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery is operated by Queensland Nickel which is wholly owned by Clive Palmer.[2] The Yabulu refinery became operational in 1974 after completion of the Greenvale to Yabulu railway line. Mining at Greenvale took place between 1974 and 1992 during which nickel laterite ore was transported to the Yabulu refinery by rail and processed up until 1993. Importation of ore from mines in New Caledonia, Indonesia, and the Philippines commenced in 1986; ore from these countries continues to be processed to this day.[3]

Approximately 750 people are employed by the refinery, which produces 32,000 tonnes of nickel and 1,900 tonnes of cobalt per year.[4] According to the general manager Trefor Flood this figure had risen to 12,000 tonnes of nickel per month by early 2010. [5]

WWF Australia has raised concerns that a tailings dam at the site could collapse during the wet season, posing an environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef.[6] They later retracted their comments, apologised and were forced to pay legal costs incurred by Palmer who sued WWF because of the comments.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Yabula (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Queensland Nickel: Our History". Queensland Nickel. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Nickel and Cobalt Refining by QNI Pty. Ltd. Yabulu, Qld. Accessed 10 June 2008.
  4. ^ BHP Billiton - Yabulu Refinery, accessed 10 June 2008.
  5. ^ Peter Michael (31 January 2010). "Cliver Palmer refines fortunes at Yabulu Nickel refinery". The Courier-Mail (Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Palmer returns fire at green groups". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). 10 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  7. ^ David Chen (5 March 2013). "WWF apologises to Palmer over 'unfounded' refinery claims". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 5 March 2013. 

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