The Tasmanian timber company Gunns has revealed another massive blow-out in the cost of its pulp mill project.

The detail was revealed at the company’s annual general meeting but there were few other details about the proposal.

The meeting heard Gunns is negotiating with potential joint venture partners but it would not name the companies.

Gunns’ chairman, John Gay, also refused to put a timeline on a start date for the project.

The meeting heard the cost of the mill has now blown out to $2.5 billion, which includes interest.

It was originally esimated at $1.5 which later jumpted to $2 billion.

The company has confirmed the Swedish forestry company Sodra is one potential joint-venture partner but will not name any others.

Shareholders questioned the chairman about Sodra’s strict environmental requirements for the mill, including that it only use timber sourced from plantations.

Mr Gay says Gunns is moving to ensure that happens and he is confident the mill will have the strictest controls in the world.

Mr Gay and director Robin Gray were both re-elected while David Simmons will be a new face at the board table.

Outside the meeting, a group of 50 protesters waved anti-mill placards and unfurled banners on nearby silos.

Six protesters were arrested.

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