Clive gets day in court

THE validity of an act of parliament aimed at snuffing out what the Western Australian government said was a $30 billion claim against the state made by Clive Palmer will be tested in the High Court of Australia on June 15, it has been claimed.
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Clive Palmer says he'll get his day in court on June 15.

Palmer said in a statement that after a directions hearing in the High Court, the matter of the validity of the "Iron Ore Amendment Act" would be heard on June 15.

"The Iron Ore Validity Act seeks to remove Mineralogy's claim for damages against the WA government," he said.

In August the WA government scrambled to introduce and pass the Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Act 2020.

At the time it said the act would head off claims by Palmer for $27.66 billion in damages related to the stalled Balmoral South iron ore project in WA's Pilbara.

The damages claim relates to proposals submitted in August 2012 and June 2013 that were thrown out by then WA premier and state development minister Colin Barnett.

In August 2012 Palmer's company Mineralogy submitted a proposal to develop a 24 million tonne per annum magnetite operation at Balmoral South as part of a State Agreement signed in 2002.

The project was to be developed by Australasian Resources-subsidiary International Minerals.

Majority owned by Mineralogy, Australasian Resources is headed by Palmer United Party candidate Zhenya Wan and chaired by longtime Palmer associate Domenic Martino.

Barnett rejected the proposal because he said it was proposing works that had already been approved for another project - the Sino Iron project at Cape Preston and the proposal was lacking detail.

Mineralogy launched arbitration proceedings and submitted another proposal for the project in 2013, which was also rejected.

In arbitration in May 2014 former High Court judge Michael McHugh found in favour of Mineralogy and declared that while Balmoral South might be a defective proposal it still had to be considered and the premier had no right to simply reject it.

Barnett came back with 46 conditions for the proposal to comply with.

Mineralogy cried foul and launched the ongoing arbitration process to seek $27.66 billion in damages.

Premier Mark McGowan's office was contacted for comment.