UPDATE: CLIVE Palmer's Townsville nickel refinery may be in too poor condition to reopen next March as the millionaire is planning.

Mr Palmer on Thursday told the ABC he was planning on reopening the Queensland Nickel refinery on March 31, 2017.

But a Queensland Government agency has expressed major concerns with the refinery's safety.

In a statement Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said hazardous chemicals remained at the site and former administrators had expressed concerns about the state of the refiners.

"There are a number of hazardous chemicals stored at the Yabulu refinery and WHSQ inspectors visit the site on a planned weekly basis to ensure QNS is meeting its duties under work health and safety legislation in managing the site," the statement said.

"WHSQ has acted on concerns raised by administrators FTI Consulting over the state of the refinery, in particular some of the ageing infrastructure.

WHSQ has engaged an engineering firm to conduct an independent assessment of structures and plant stability. The engineering firm will progressively provide advice in relation to risks at the site.

"WHSQ will make a final determination about the facility and the operator within the next fortnight."

Mr Palmer is suing FTI Consulting over the actions they took when they were administrators of Queensland Nickel. - ARM NEWSDESK

 

EARLIER: CLIVE Palmer has left the door open to rehiring workers fired when his Townsville Queensland Nickel operation shut down.

Speaking on ABC Radio Mr Palmer blamed the administrators FTI Consulting for firing the workers and claimed they were an "LNP plant".

"None of the workers were sacked by me. They were sacked by the administrators," he said.

Mr Palmer said it was "up to" the sacked workers if they wanted to return to work at the refinery but that 200 former workers had registered interest in returning.

"We can't make them come back," he said.

He said Queensland Nickel Sales, a Palmer-owned company now running the Townsville nickel operation, was aiming to reopen on March 31, 2017.

Mr Palmer said it was "just not true" that he owed former workers back wages.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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