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Citic and Mineralogy dispute over port

Thursday 4th of June 2015 07:04:17 AM



Citic has told the Federal Court it is not operating or shutting anyone out of a West Australian iron ore port in its dispute with Mineralogy.

Clive Palmer’s company Mineralogy claims there has been a breach between an agreement with it and Citic and is trying to strip Citic of its right to use the facilities.

Mineralogy says Citic is wrongly asserting "exclusive occupation and control" of the Cape Preston port, south-west of Karratha, from which it exports magnetite concentrate to Chinese steel mills.

"We're not operating the port or shutting anyone out of the port," Citic’s Andrew Bell said in court.

Citic built the port infrastructure as part of its $12 billion Sino Iron project.

Mineralogy claims under an agreement between the two parties, Citic should have given it control of the port after construction and have the right to operate the port, over which it holds the mining tenements.

It contends Citic has breached that agreement and should now have its right to use the port extinguished and be removed from the facilities.

Mineralogy's barrister Simon Couper told the court today the effect of Citic blocking anyone else using the port was that Mineralogy could not tell potential new investors they had access to the facilities.

"The effect of the breach is to prevent Mineralogy from being able to say to an investor this will work because we have access to a port," he said.

He also argued there was no evidence Citic had agreed to build the port on the assumption Mineralogy would then relinquish all rights to operate it.

"There is no evidence to say that was the assumed state of affairs," Mr Couper said.

Dr Bell told the court there was no evidence Mineralogy would have any role in the port facilities' operation.

He added Citic was the only party lawfully capable of operating the port.

"We are entitled to operate the facilities, more than that, we are obliged to operate the facilities," he said.

"We are the only party who is lawfully capable of operating them ... by reason of a series of steps and agreements, all of which Mineralogy was a party to."



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