MINING mogul Clive Palmer’s (pictured) coal mining company today flagged plans to sue ASX-listed QR National (ASX:QRN) for $8 billion in alleged damages.
China First in-house counsel Baljeet Singh has formally notified QR company secretary Dominic Smith that her employer will file a damages claim at the Queensland Supreme Court.
The exploration business accuses QR of breaching confidentiality and misleading conduct over the proposed Central Queensland Integrated Rail project between the Galilee Basin coal region and central Queensland coast. QR strongly rejects the allegations as 'baseless assertions'.
China First is seeking injunctions against QR to restrain parties from dealing with the transport company in relation to the Galilee Basin and related port facilities.
“We have QR in conjunction with the Queensland Government claiming it can build the rail link and create hundreds of jobs, in what looks like a bid to score some political mileage in the government’s bid for re-election,” says Singh.
“This is an outrage as we had already been in commercial discussions and exchanges with QR for cooperation in the joint development of rail and port facilities supporting the Galilee Basin.”
China First’s proposed $8 billion coal mine and infrastructure project in the Galilee Basin includes a large scale thermal coal mine near Alpha. It will be linked to the new T4-T9 Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen by a new 471km heavy haul railway line.
Queensland coordinator-general Graeme Newton is considering the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.
“We have advised the coordinator-general of the improper use for which the subject significant project declaration regarding QR has been made and reserve our rights against him and the Queensland Government,” says Singh.
“Our China First project will create 6000 jobs during construction and will generate an estimated $4.6 billion per annum in export revenues once operational.”
The project received significant project status in 2008.
Palmer could not be contacted for comment today by Gold Coast Business News.
The price of QR shares fell slightly today to $3.64 per unit.