Clive Palmer, the billionaire mining magnate, will repay a $100 million Queensland Nickel loan.
Clive Palmer, the mining magnate, has been ordered to repay more than $100 million in damages related to the collapse of Queensland Nickel, following a decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal.
Liquidators for Queensland Nickel creditors have won an appeal to recover a multimillion-dollar loan made by the failed north Queensland refinery to Palmer-owned parent company Mineralogy.
The court determined that billionaire Clive Palmer authorized the loan personally, signing legal documents as both lender and borrower.
When staff inquired about Mineralogy’s total debt, Palmer responded via an alias email account: “No limit continue clive.”
The Queensland Court of Appeal’s decision on Friday is the latest chapter in the ongoing legal battle between Palmer and the government-appointed liquidators of QNI.
It comes on the heels of a massive 2020 Supreme Court civil trial into QNI’s 2016 collapse, which resulted in the loss of 800 jobs.
Palmer reached an agreement to settle the majority of the initial $200 million lawsuit, including agreeing to repay $66 million in taxpayer funds spent on sacked worker benefits.
The approximately $130 million in transactions also resulted in the complete recovery of the majority of debts owed to unsecured creditors and the settlement of a $88 million Aurizon claim for approximately $18 million.
This left $102 million on the table, which the liquidators contended was due for a series of unpaid loans made by QNI to Mineralogy.
Reversing the situation.
The initial claim for repayment of the loans was dismissed in June last year in Queensland’s Supreme Court, with Justice Deborah Mullins ruling that the transactions were made by QNI’s joint venture companies to Mineralogy, not by QNI.
Palmer, jubilant at the time, declared the Mineralogy decision a victory over “evil.”
“This judgment reaffirms my faith in the Queensland judicial system,” Palmer stated.
“The fabrications leveled against me are unprecedented in the annals of Australian history. I took a stand to prevent evil from triumphing.”
However, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision, finding that the judge erred in ordering Mineralogy and CEO Clive Palmer to repay the failed company more than $102 million.
“The appellant has established that the judgment should be reversed and Mineralogy ordered to repay the loans to QNI,” the court concluded.
“The loans were made by QNI in its capacity as trustee, and QNI is entitled to repayment.”
The outstanding interest on the $100 million loan and the costs associated with the court action have not been resolved.
Palmer’s representative has been contacted for comment on his recent change of fortune.