Friday, 07 December 2012 14:49
Suggestions Clive Palmer has transferred the registered address of his companies to Western Australia because of dissatisfaction with the Queensland government are overstated, the mining tycoon said.
Filings lodged last week with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show at least five of Mr Palmer's formerly Brisbane-registered private companies are now registered in WA, News Ltd revealed on Friday.
The firms include Mineralogy, which owns the Balmoral iron ore deposit in WA's Pilbara region - touted as the world's biggest undeveloped magnetite resource - Queensland Nickel, which operates a nickel and cobalt refinery
25km north-west of Townsville, and Waratah Coal, which is yet to bring its Queensland assets into production.
Mr Palmer says the change of registered address is a minor administrative matter that he has no involvement in but it makes sense.
"I don't think it's really significant because most of our business is in WA," he said.
"Our (Mineralogy) head office has always been WA anyway."
Mineralogy aims to develop part of the deposit, known as Balmoral South, in a joint venture with Australasian Resources, which is almost 70 per cent held by the billionaire.
The project has been a long time coming but moves to secure state government approvals are progressing, Mr Palmer said.
The billionaire also owns the Pilbara ground being mined by China's Citic Pacific, the Sino Iron project, providing him with handsome royalties.
But the cost of the project has reportedly blown out from US$2.5 billion to almost US$7 billion, while Mr Palmer and Citic last month went to WA's Supreme Court in a dispute over the mining rights and site lease agreements.
"We've also got all the remainder of projects (in WA) that are bigger than both of them (Balmoral and Sino Iron) and we've got staff working there all the time," Mr Palmer said.
"That's been a real hub of activity so the accounts people may have just changed the offices to reflect what's been the case for a long time."
The shift of address comes amid increasing acrimony between Mr Palmer and Queensland's Liberal National Party. He recently quit as a member.
On Thursday, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he suspected Mr Palmer was encouraging and bankrolling attacks on his character and performance by two former government MPs, Alex Douglas and Ray Hopper.
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