News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: China doubts on Clive Palmer mine bid; Queensland rules out adjudication for mining builders; and farmers call off access agreement with miners.

Staff Reporter

China doubts on Clive Palmer mine bid

Clive Palmer's deal to build the troubled Sino iron ore mine in Western Australia is being viewed sceptically by Chinese financial analysts who believe the embattled project is doomed, according to The Australian.

The project is being developed in a joint venture with CITIC Pacific and has already missed a number of significant deadlines, with the Chinese state-owned enterprise experiencing dramatic cost blowouts in the past few years.

Queensland rules out adjudication for mining builders

The Queensland Supreme Court has judged that construction companies can no longer seek adjudication on payments they say are owed to them if the construction is on a mining site in the state, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The loophole decision delivered on Tuesday could have huge ramifications for mining construction companies that believe they have not been paid fairly or on time by mining companies for construction they have done on mining leases.

Every Australian state and territory has “security for payments” legislation, which ensures that construction companies can go to an adjudicator and receive progress payments from a customer. It also allows the construction company to bypass the courts and a lengthy litigation process.

However, Justice Margaret Wilson ruled that the adjudication process in the case of Agripower Australia Ltd v J&D Rigging Pty Ltd did not apply because the construction work was on a mining site.

“In summary, land does not include mining leases,” she said in her judgment.

Farmers call off access agreement with miners

Farmers have walked away from a deal with miners after a coal company allegedly lured one farmer into signing an access agreement by misrepresenting it was conforming to the association's guidelines, according to The Australian.

The NSW Farmers Association yesterday withdrew its endorsement of a template agreement on allowing miners access to farmers' properties, which had been agreed last year with the NSW Minerals Council and the NSW government after 18 months of negotiations.

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