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Published 14 October 2013 11:53, Updated 01 November 2013 11:41
Clive Palmer has accused the Chinese operator of his $7 billion Sino Iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara of delaying iron ore production to squeeze him financially.
The allegation adds to the increasingly bitter dispute between Mr Palmer’s Mineralogy and the Hong Kong-listed Citic Pacific, which is controlled by the Chinese government, over a vast magnetite iron ore project that has suffered big cost blowouts and years of delays.
“I think it’s been by design by the Chinese to get more control of our minerals,” Mr Palmer told The Australian Financial Review on Sunday.
“If they delay our cash flow, it gives them a better negotiating position.”
The delays and legal disputes between the parties have postponed the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties to Mr Palmer. It has also been a problematic investment for the large Chinese steel maker.
A Citic spokesman declined to comment on several issues regarding export time lines, royalty agreements and cost blowouts.