Clive Palmer’s moves to terminate Citic Pacific’s mining rights on the Sino Iron project have been blocked by the WA Supreme Court.
Last week Palmer’s Mineralogy served Citic Pacific a notice of the termination, giving the Chinese firm 21 days to get off the site.
The project initially saw serious delays and was unable to meet a range of pre-arranged targets and royalty payments, with Citic stating at the time that the lack of Australian experience for its Chinese lead contractor MCC was partly to blame for the delays and,
The relationship between Palmer’s Mineralogy and Citic Pacific took another turn over the issue of mining royalties.
This series of events prompted Palmer to try and pull out of the agreement, in which he owned the land and gave Citic Pacific mining right, until Mineralogy was awarded royalties.
The issue of royalties again reared its head mid-last year, after Palmer claimed the Chinese miner was finally paying him royalties, to the tune of $500 million.
“We have a standard right-to-mine agreement,” Palmer said at the time.
“In the agreement it says they pay a royalty when ore is taken. We would say that word ‘taken’ means when you mine it — they would say it means when you take it from Australia.”
Since these initial blowouts disagreements have flared between Citic and Palmer's company, with the Australian billionaire famously accusing the Chinese firm of 'raping' Australian resources, and then filing numerous court applications to force Citic into liquidation.
These first attempts were vetoed by the WA Supreme court, which has now stepped in again to halt Palmer’s attempts to remove Citic Pacific from the site.
The court has issued an interim injunction to prevent Mineralogy from acting on its termination notice, according to the ABC.
Citic is reportedly ‘pleased’ by the court’s decision, adding that it has paid all royalties owed to Mineralogy.
"The court has also restrained Mineralogy from issuing further termination or suspension notices," Citic Pacific stated.
As part of the wider battle between Palmer and Citic Pacific, the Chinese firm has also accused the mining mogul of using funds earmarked for port development for his own election campaign.
Palmer hit out at these claims by Citic, telling the ABC that it is “just a made up story like Alice in Wonderland that the press can run,” after which he ended the interview in his usual bombastic style by hanging up when questioned on the details.