Embattled billionaire Clive Palmer is directly blaming his Chinese nemesis CITIC for the collapse of his nickel empire in a new legal action which claims its failure to pay him royalties meant the Queensland company folded with a personal loss to the former MP of $2.3 billion.
Even as he sunned himself with family in Europe, Mr Palmer’s lawyers were preparing another salvo in the legal war against China’s biggest conglomerate, having already been embroiled in legal battles for several years.
The latest claim, lodged in the WA Supreme Court last week, claims the failure of CITIC to pay $48 million owed in royalties in December 2015 meant another arm of Mr Palmer’s empire — Mineralogy — was unable to lend the nickel company $28 million it needed to stay afloat.
Later, Mr Palmer claims, Queensland Nickel went into liquidation at a personal cost to him of billions of dollars.
The writ says as at August 2015, the nickel business was worth $3.024 billion — with the value now put at $700 million.