Citic Pacific Ltd. (267) won a court order barring Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy Pty from halting the development of Australia’s biggest magnetite iron-ore project over a royalty dispute.
Western Australia Supreme Court Justice James Edelman granted the application by Citic Pacific’s Sino Iron Pty and Korean Steel Pty yesterday. He criticized Mineralogy for wasting time and money after it accused them of default for failing to pay A$287,000 ($273,370) in royalties and claimed the right to suspend and terminate mining rights and leases.
Citic Pacific has spent about A$7 billion and employs as many as 2,800 people on the project on Palmer’s property, Edelman wrote. Mineralogy stands to lose A$15,000 to A$25,000 from the alleged default on the royalty payment, the judge said.
“The legal fees on this application must have vastly exceeded the potential loss to Mineralogy,” Edelman wrote. “The progression towards a final hearing has now been delayed by the considerable time, expense and resources which have necessarily been devoted to this application.”
Steve Connolly, a spokesman for Palmer, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment sent after regular business hours in Sydney.
Citic Pacific said in an e-mailed statement it will continue “to take all necessary steps to protect our investment in this project.”
The case is Mineralogy Pty v. Sino Iron Pty. CIV1808/2013. Supreme Court of Western Australia (Perth).
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