|Targeted||base metals, energy fuels|
Clive Palmer (actually Professor Clive Palmer) is not an anomaly as such. He follows in the tradition of extremely wealthy Australian mining magnates, such as Lang Hancock, Alan Bond, Robert Champignon de Crespigny and Andrew Forrest (see Forrest Group International), by putting his money where his mine mouths are.
( Gina Rinehart did the reverse: she acquired a small mining fortune inhertied from her father, Lang Hancock, which has now made her the richest woman in the antipodes).
Palmer is probably the only one of his ilk to hold a professorship, and his investments have certainly proved of distinction (financially, if not academically speaking).
In early 2010, Palmer launched his Resourcehouse Ltd finance company on the Hong Kong stock exchange, aiming to raise US$3 billion in order to promote a coal project in Queensland, and iron ore mines in Australia [MJ 4 February 2010]. The Metallurgical Corp of China had earlier promised to invest US$200 million in Resourcehouse [MJ 15 January 2010].
As of November 2010, this major IPO had still not gained the go-ahead from the Hong Kong SE and - according to Reuters - Palmer had "never confirmed details" of it. However, he did claim that investment banks BOC (Bank of China) International, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan were "working on the possible listing" [Reuters 19 November 2010].
Another attempt to launch Resourcehouse on the Hong Kong Exchange, in the form of an initial public offering (IPO), faltered in May 2011 - in the same week as Glencore made its own IPO on both the London and Hong Kong exchanges, though Palmer said he would try again soon [MJ 20 May 2011].
And so he did - a week later, when he published the company's Prospectus, which priced a sale of 5.7 billion shares, giving a possible Resourcehouse market capitalisation of US7.1 - US$7.8 billion. The Prospectus also stated that the new company would seek debt financing for around 70% of its China First iron-ore project from "one or more Chinese entities".
Through his Mineralogy Pty Ltd holding company, in 2009 Palmer owned 66.37% of Australasian Resources Ltd, a major iron ore producer in Australia, and controlled Resource Development International Ltd., based in the UK's Midlands region.
He also effectively owns Gladstone Pacific Nickel which, in July 2009, was looking to bid for control of BHP Billiton’s nickel refinery operations in Australia [WA News, 3 July 2009], 55% of which it aer acquired. See also: Resource Development Capital Ltd.
However, in July 2011, a co-founder of Gladstone Pacific Nickel launched legal action against Palmer for damages that could exceed $500 million, accusing him and three wholly-owned Palmer companies of acting in breach of his director duties owing to GPN, when he acquired the refinery [Business Spectator, 29 July 2011].
On November 4 2010, Palmer's office was blockaded by environmentalists protesting against the threatened bulldozing of a central Queensland nature refuge, to make way for his latest coal project, dubbed China First; titles to which are held by Waratah Coal and Mineralogy Ltd (see below) [MJ 3 June 2011]. This huge Aus$8 billion open-cut mining enterprise is partnered between Palmer's Waratah Coal and the China Metallurgical Corporation [The Australian 3 February 2010].
Chanting "No more coal, protect nature refuges, stop big Clive," the November protestors claimed the project would bulldoze the 8000-hectares Bimblebox Nature Refuge, destroying the homes of more than 100 species of fauna and flora [AAP, 5 November 2010].
In December 2010, Palmer announced that Waratah Coal had signed an agreement with indigenous groups, holding registered native title in the area whereby, ahead of mine construction,it would be required to develop a cultural heritage management plan. Palmer said his company had already signed an initial plan with the Jangga people, who have a claim to about 150km of the rail project that will link the mine with a new port terminal [minemsn., 13 December 2010].
In April 2012, Palmer announced plans to rebuild the ill-fated transatlantic liner, Titanic and also contest the parliamentary seat held by Wayne Swan, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, by running as a candidate in Australia’s conservative Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP).
If (or when) "Titanic II" actually launches, the Chinese navy has been invited to accompany the ship on its "maiden voyage" from England to New York [Mining.com 30 April 2012].
Palmer's long-awaited and postponed (now by over two years) IPO of Resourcehouse Ltd, has still not materialised. And, in May 2012, he cancelled a US$40 billion coal supply agreement with coal trader, Vitol, which hardly helped [MJ 18 May 2012].