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Australian mining tax critic Clive Palmer pays none

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, an outspoken critic of the government's mining tax, reportedly has not paid tax for his private company for three years.

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Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer holds a press conference in Brisbane on March 1, 2012. (Tertius Pickard/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, an outspoken critic of the government's mining tax, reportedly has not paid tax for his private company for three years.

According to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator, cited by the Fairfax media, Palmer's main private company, Mineralogy, reported losses in 2010-11, nor in 2009-10 or in 2008-09.

Therefore, no tax was payable.

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, Fairfax reports.

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A company spokesman would not comment on the figures except to say the magnate had a "vast portfolio of business interests including numerous resource companies."

"Mineralogy lodges its accounts with ASIC and follows all regulatory procedures."

Meanwhile, a senior figure from the Australian government's political opposition — Joe Hockey, who would be treasurer if his conservative Coalition party won the next election — has admitted meeting recently with Palmer.

The one-on-one meeting, during a family vacation in Queensland over the Easter  period, sparked fresh attacks about him "kneeling at the feet of billionaires."

The Courier-Mail reported the meeting, which Hockey's spokesman confirmed without elaborating on what was discussed or who initiated it.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120411/australian-billionaire-clive-palmer-mining-tax