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Court Hears Mineralogy Not Approved to Operate Port

Thursday 11th of June 2015 06:27:38 AM



The Federal Court in Perth has heard that CLIVE Palmer's mining company Mineralogy never received approval to operate a Pilbara iron ore port which has recently been placed in government hands.

The Court heard that the regulation of Cape Preston port is now being handled by the Director-General of the West Australian Department of Transport after Mineralogy issued a termination notice to its estranged Chinese partner CITIC.

Mineralogy claims CITIC should not have exclusive control of port facilities at Cape Preston at the $12 billion Sino iron ore project.

The head of Mineralogy's Cape Preston port, Paul Edwin Robinson, said his company had tried to set up a multi-user port operation.

"We were trying to get approval for it," Mr Robinson told the Court on Wednesday.

But Mr Robinson said he was now aware that the WA Department of Transport had recently been designated as the operator of Cape Preston port.

Dr Andrew Bell SC, a barrister representing CITIC, said Mineralogy's plans for a mine, environmental approvals, a state agreement and shipping iron ore may never come to fruition.

"Mineralogy has no approved maintenance, security plan and never had one and could never operate a port under legislation," Dr Bell told the court.

The court also heard that based on approvals, the port could export up to 220 million tonnes of iron ore per annum.

Dr Bell also said Mr Robinson, in consultation with Mr Palmer, had issued termination notices to CITIC for not providing shipping schedules despite not having a practical need to coordinate shipping schedules.

"The purpose of these terminations was to put pressure on my client in relation to negotiations," Dr Bell told the court.

He said Mr Robinson had realised that terminating the facilities deeds would require CITIC to vacate the area.



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