Clive Palmer will 'enjoy the fruits' of $350 million court win and not reopen Nickel refinery, if assets are frozen

 abc.net.au  2/14/2018 9:28:52 PM   Ellie Sibson

Updated February 15, 2018 08:35:58

Clive Palmer has warned he will not reopen his North Queensland Nickel (QN) refinery with thousands of extra jobs and instead "enjoy the fruits" of a recent $350 million legal victory, if his assets are frozen.

The businessman is fighting an application by liquidators in Brisbane's Supreme Court to freeze $200 million of his personal assets, which is part of a multi-million-dollar claim against him for allegedly acting as a shadow director for QN and breaching his duties.

In a fresh affidavit filed as part of the case, Mr Palmer said if the freeze order was granted "the refinery will not reopen" and the opportunity to create 2,000 jobs in Townsville would be missed.

In December, Mr Palmer said his company Mineralogy intended to loan $25 million to help reopen the refinery.

It followed a ruling in the West Australian Supreme Court in November that Mineralogy was owed substantial unpaid royalties from the Sino Iron project in the Pilbara region.

Court documents show Mineralogy has now been paid $350 million from the court battle.

"As Mineralogy has a considerable cash flow and will enjoy the fruits of the judgement of the Western Australian Supreme Court of hundreds of millions of dollars each year, the grant of any orders would result in me and/or Mineralogy not investing any more funds into the refinery and just enjoying the fruits of

the Mineralogy Judgement," Mr Palmer wrote.

"In my commercial judgement, further investment in the refinery could not be justified.

Freeze order would make refinery 'untenable': Palmer

Mr Palmer claimed a freeze order would make operating the refinery "untenable and unworkable" because it would deal with about 35,000 transactions a month.

"It would be administratively unworkable to assess the volume of transactions required for the operation of the refinery against the Proposed Order to determine whether the transaction was required to be notified," he wrote in the affidavit.

The former federal MP said his businesses would suffer and "... opportunities would be lost if I was required to provide seven days notice prior to entering into a transaction".

"At this stage, I consider I will need to dedicate three accounts and two lawyers and support staff and facilities to monitoring compliance with the Proposed Order," he wrote.

Mr Palmer claimed in the document there was no individual or company in Queensland that had assets that exceed his or the corporate defendants, which he estimates to be $4 billion.

"It is a nonsense that Mineralogy will be unable to satisfy judgment in respect of this proceeding and that the Proposed Order is required to cure any risk attendant upon such a prospect," he wrote.

Queensland Nickel collapsed in 2016 with $300 million in debts and 800 job losses.

Mr Palmer has always denied any wrongdoing.

Topics: courts-and-trials, law-crime-and-justice, clive-palmer, townsville-4810, qld, australia

First posted February 15, 2018 08:28:52

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