Business

Court rules on coal royalties dispute

IT WAS a battle of dynasties when a case regarding billions in royalty payments landed in the Supreme Court this week.

Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting fought off a demand that Wright Prospecting be paid 1.25% of coal royalties - $1 billion over three decades.

The challengers gave the Hancock firm rights to the Galilee Basin's "Kevin's Corner" mine site in 1998.

It is now owned by Indian resources giant GVK and the future site of a $6.6 billion mining project.

More than 4500 workers will be needed to build and operate the project if it is eventually approved.

Ms Rinehart's father Lang Hancock and Wright Prospecting founder Peter Wright pioneered the lucrative iron-ore industries in Australia as great mates.

Under this "Hancock and Wright" partnership, they owned Kevin's Corner.

However, each of the groups were now in regular courtroom skirmishes that intensified after a court in 2010 ordered Ms Rinehart to give 25% of her "Rhodes Ridge" iron-ore project in Western Australia to the Wright heirs.

Court documents showed contracts signed between Wright and Hancock in the 1980s agreed to give each party 1.25% of coal value royalties if a mine was ever developed on the Queensland site.

If GVK made good on its plan to export 30 million tonnes of heating coal for three decades from Kevin's Corner - and based on a price of A$90 per tonne - that percentage would amount to more than $33 million in royalties per year.

In total, it would deliver $1.012 billion to the Wright company by the time the mine was exhausted.

In the Queensland Supreme Court on Monday, these claims were struck out.

It did maintain that the mine was a Hancock interest free of Wright's demand for royalties.

However, Justice Margaret McMurdo would not dismiss the entire case on Monday. She described the dispute as "long-standing and complex".

Wright Prospecting may launch another case, but it will have to rely on new claims.

Both Hancock Prospecting and Wright Prospecting declined to comment on the case.

Topics:  galilee basin, kevin's corner



Migaloo mayhem: Boaties, drone operators told to back off

A Sea World Cruise charter vessel near Migaloo yesterday, off the Tweed Coast.

Video: Helicopters, charter boats, drones and research vessels out in force to...

Organisers postpone new country music festival

Australian music megastar Kasey Chambers will be playing at the Sawtell RSL on Friday.

Mur'bah's Country Roots Festival cancelled

Council's $200k woes: what cops are doing about it

NSW police at coffs harbour boat ramp, arrest , gun, shots, handcuffs

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Thieves consider Tweed Council to be a "soft target"

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon in top form for Jason Bourne return

ON A MISSION: Matt Damon in a scene from the movie Jason Bourne.

LONG-awaited return of spy franchise is wall-to-wall action.

The Bachelor: Vinteaea tells why she had to walk out

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

MasterChef winner cheered on by family in Grafton

BIG CHEER: Carlie Slattery (top right) with her husband Madison and kids Ashton, Eva and baby Milla celebrate Carlie's cousin Elena's win in MasterChef last night.

Carlie gets behind her cousin's MasterChef win

Organisers postpone new country music festival

Australian music megastar Kasey Chambers will be playing at the Sawtell RSL on Friday.

Mur'bah's Country Roots Festival cancelled

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started