CITIC sues Palmer over Sino go-slow

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Milne

CITIC Pa­cific is su­ing Clive Palmer as an ac­ces­sory to what it claims is un­con­scionable con­duct hin­der­ing progress on its $US10 bil­lion Sino Iron project.

The move could make Mr Palmer, who is eye­ing a re­turn to Fed­eral pol­i­tics, partly li­able for bil­lions of dol­lars of claims.

Last week, the Chi­nese com­pany an­nounced a Fed­eral Court ac­tion against Mr Palmer’s Min­er­al­ogy, the ten­e­ment holder for the Pil­bara project.

Min­er­al­ogy is the only party able to lodge pro­pos­als to de­velop the project with the WA Gov­ern­ment.

CITIC, in a state­ment of claim filed in the Fed­eral Court, stated the last pro­pos­als ap­proved in 2010 were to cover the first five years of op­er­a­tions while plans for later pro­duc­tion were de­vel­oped.

CITIC al­leges Min­er­al­ogy is con­trac­tu­ally obliged to sub­mit a mine con­tin­u­a­tion pro­posal to the State, as it had been re­quest­ing since De­cem­ber 2016.

The Hong Kong-listed com­pany said the WA Gov­ern­ment con­firmed in De­cem­ber last year the pro­posal could be sub­mit­ted.

The ex­ist­ing tail­ings dams at the mine have been shored up at sig­nif­i­cant cost as new dams can­not be built un­til the mine con­tin­u­a­tion plan is ap­proved.

CITIC claimed it had suf­fered losses from sub­stan­tially in­creased costs in de­vel­op­ing and op­er­at­ing the project, and ul­ti­mately it could be down­sized or sus­pended. It claims Mr Palmer is the “di­rect­ing mind and will” of Min­er­al­ogy with “con­tin­u­ous per­sonal in­volve­ment in all as­pects of Min­er­al­ogy’s deal­ings with Sino Iron”.

As such, it claims the Queens­land en­tre­pre­neur aided Min­er­al­ogy’s al­leged con­tra­ven­tions of Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law. CITIC is seek­ing or­ders from the court for Min­er­al­ogy to sub­mit the mine con­tin­u­a­tion plan and make changes to leases as well as an award of dam­ages against Min­er­al­ogy and Mr Palmer.

AAPIMAGE

Busi­ness­man and for­mer fed­eral MP Clive Palmer.

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