Palmer s legal fight with Chinese firm escalates

Clive Palmer's bitter legal fight with CITIC Pacific has widened, with the Chinese miner pursuing the MP's private company Mineralogy in the courts for $106,000.

Heavily redacted documents filed in the Queensland Supreme Court yesterday show Mineralogy was ordered in May to pay more than $1.8 million to the Chinese State-owned company as part of a confidential arbitration.

CITIC is also claiming to the court that Mineralogy's company secretary Clive Mensink, who is Mr Palmer's nephew, has refused to be served with subpoena documents regarding $12 million it alleges Mineralogy wrongfully siphoned from a bank account and used on election spending.

The documents show Mineralogy on June 16 paid $1,705,368 that the arbitration panel had awarded to CITIC on an interim basis. Mineralogy was ordered to pay a further $106,025 after it made an unknown concession in its defence on June 17. CITIC gave Mineralogy a week to pay the $106,025 but the firm did not meet the deadline, according to court documents. CITIC is now seeking an order from the Supreme Court that Mineralogy pay up.

_The West Australian _ understands the $1.8 million relates to management fees connected to the bank account that has emerged as a key point of dispute between CITIC and Mineralogy.

CITIC alleges Mineralogy siphoned $12 million from the account and believes it bankrolled the Palmer United Party's election campaign. CITIC had paid millions into the account, which was set to up to cover Mineralogy's costs for managing the Cape Preston port linked to its Pilbara iron ore project.

CITIC wants to subpoena Mr Palmer and Mr Mensink but its lawyers have told the court law firm HopgoodGanim has three times failed to say whether it would accept the application documents on Mr Mensink's behalf.

The Chinese company has asked the court to rule that Mr Mensink would be formally served by hand-delivering the documents to HopgoodGanim's Brisbane office and faxing them to its Perth office.

Mineralogy declined to comment, but Mr Palmer said on Monday the company was entitled to spend the money paid into the account as it saw fit because it was effectively a salary for providing port services. He said CITIC owed about $600 million in royalties to Mineralogy.

The West Australian

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