The refinery, run by Palmer company Queensland Nickel, on behalf of Palmer companies QNI Metals and QNI Resources was shut down on March 11 2016.
The cost of refurbishing the refinery has been put in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Palmer said QNI Resources had received draft contracts from the Port of Townsville, paving the way for a potential production restart within six weeks.
"We will review these drafts and, if they are the same terms and conditions as the previous contracts, we could see work restart in six weeks," he said.
"This is an encouraging development for QNI Resources and the people of north Queensland.
"Once we gain access to the port we can begin receiving nickel ore and can immediately employ 100 people to recommission t...