CITIC sues Palmer over Sino go-slow
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.
Businessman and former federal MP Clive Palmer.