Magnate's company paid no tax

Paddy Manning April 12, 2012

Clive Palmer

Mining magnate Clive Palmer. Photo: Rob Homer

A VOCAL critic of the federal government's mining tax, billionaire Clive Palmer, did not have to pay tax in his main private company last year, according to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator.

The company accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported losses for the past three financial years. The profit-and-loss statement shows no tax was payable in 2010-11.

The losses come as Mineralogy's mining projects remain at exploration or development stage. Other parts of Mr Palmer's business empire, including Queensland Nickel and various property interests, are held outside Mineralogy.

The Mineralogy accounts underline the difficulty of valuing Mr Palmer's vast mineral deposits and therefore his personal wealth.

Australia's BRW, published by Fairfax Media, lists his wealth at $5.05 billion, but America's Forbes magazine rates it at $US795 million.

Mineralogy owns rights to huge magnetite iron ore deposits in the Pilbara and thermal coal deposits in Queensland's Galilee Basin, but its mines are not yet in production and generating income.

The accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported net losses of $58.5 million in 2008-09, $29 million in 2009-10 and $11.4 million in 2010-11.

It received a tax benefit of $874,599 in 2010-11, against revenues of $5.6 million, and paid $136,799 in tax the year before.

Over the past two years Mineralogy has tried four times to raise capital to develop its China First coal and iron ore mines by floating subsidiary Resourcehouse on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The failed float cost it $28 million and Resourcehouse has since been restructured, with Mr Palmer's 22-year-old son, Michael, joining the board.