|Population||697 (2016 census)|
|• Density||19.69/km2 (50.99/sq mi)|
|Area||35.4 km2 (13.7 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
|LGA(s)||City of Townsville|
Yabulu is a town and coastal suburb in the City of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Yabulu had a population of 697 people.
Yabulu is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. 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.
Cobarra is a neighbourhood () near the nickel refinery.
Mount Saunders is in the centre of the locality () and is 92 metres (302 ft) above sea level.
There are two railway lines passing through the locality, the North Coast railway line and the now-closed Greenvale railway line. The locality has the following railway stations on the North Coast line
and one at the nickel refinery from which processed ore was carried to the Port of Townsville via the North Coast line
Yabulu is situated in the traditional Wulgurukaba Aboriginal country, nearby Nyawigi Aboriginal country.
The town takes its name from Yabulu railway station. Yabulu is an Aboriginal word meaning grass. Nickel laterite mining at Greenvale led to the building of the Greenvale railway line to transport ore to a nickel refinery at Yabulu in the 1970s.
In the 2016 census, Yabulu had a population of 697 people.
In the 2016 Census, there were 697 people in Yabulu. 78.1% of people were born in Australia and 86.4% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 25.1%, No Religion 24.4% and Anglican 19.2%.
The Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery is operated by Queensland Nickel, wholly owned by Clive Palmer. 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 began in 1986 and continues to this day.
In 2009, Palmer bought Queensland Nickel and the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery. The following year, the company increased production by 30%, prompting him to give $10 million worth of Christmas bonuses to staff,including 55 Mercedes-Benz B-Class cars and overseas holidays. Up to 750 people worked at the refinery, which produced 32,000 tonnes (71,000,000 lb) of nickel and 19,000 t (42,000,000 lb) of cobalt per year. According to the general manager Trefor Flood this figure had risen to 12,000 t (26,000,000 lb) of nickel per month by early 2010.
World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) raised concerns that a tailings dam at the site could collapse during the wet season, posing an environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef. WWF later retracted their comments, apologised and were forced to pay legal costs incurred by Palmer who sued WWF because of the comments. On 15 January 2016 the company terminated 237 workers. Palmer blamed poor nickel prices, at a 12-year low, and the refusal of the Queensland government to guarantee a loan of A$35 million, but the ABC reported that Queensland Nickel had donated over $6 million to the Palmer United Party. The leader of the opposition in Queensland supported the government's refusal to guarantee the loan on the grounds that it was not the proper role of government and that Palmer had used Queensland Nickel funds for his political party. On 18 January 2016 Queensland Nickel entered voluntary administration. It is expected the refinery will re-open sometime in late 2018/2019 if all current hurdles to restarting are overcome.
Facilities located at Yabulu include a Caltex service station.
Bluewater Caravan Park is at 41420 Bruce Highway.