Australian mining magnate and political hopeful Clive Palmer has shifted control of his business empire to New Zealand.

The Australian reports that Palmer's private company Mineralogy is now owned by a company called Mineralogy International Ltd (MIL) registered in New Zealand.

Companies Office records show that the New Zealand company was incorporated on December 14, 2018, alongside two other companies.

Palmer is currently campaigning to win parliamentary seats in Australia on the slogan "Make Australia Great".

Palmer rejected suggestions that shifting his key assets to New Zealand was hypocritical in light of his political campaigning, saying that he invests throughout the world.

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Earlier this year, Palmer was one of the biggest movers on the Forbes Aussie rich list, reclaiming a position as one of the 50 richest people in Australia.

This came just three years after his Queensland Nickel company folded with debts of A$300 million ($319m) in 2016, causing the loss of hundreds of jobs at its Townsville refinery.

Forbes said Palmer, 64, has an estimated fortune of US$1.8 billion, placing him at number 20.

Who is Clive Palmer?

Palmer has made much of his money in the mining industry through his holdings in iron ore, nickel and coal interests.

The eccentric businessman also owned, or previously owned, five-star resorts, an A-League football team and a 100-horse stud.

In 2006, his company Mineralogy had 160 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves in remote northern Western Australia.

After that, he extended into coal and Nickel with acquisitions of Queensland Nickel and the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery in 2009.

Shortly after making this acquisition, Palmer became renowned for gifting staff 50 Mercedes Benz and thousands overseas holidays after the refinery turned a huge profit.

The good times did not, however, last forever.

In 2016, Queensland Nickel entered voluntary administration after the price of nickel crashed. The trouble at the company led to the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Palmer long blamed the demise of the company on low nickel prices, but critics have argued that it is also because he has funnelled large amounts of money into his political aspirations.

According to electoral commission figures, between July 1 2013 to June 30 2014, close to AU$26 million of Palmer's political party funding came from Palmer companies. More than AU$15 million came from Queensland Nickel alone. While expensive, this funding allowed him to claim the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax in 2014.

Palmer's political aspirations receded by 2016, when he announced he would not seek re-election and would retire from politics.

This was, however, shortlived and by 2018 he confirmed he would be returning to the political game and shortly thereafter launched a series of 'Make Australia Great' billboards.

The campaign was widely mocked online.

In recent years, Palmer has also made the news for his Palmer long-running legal dispute with Hong Kong-based Citic Limited over disputed royalty payments due owed. In 2017, this resulted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia awarding Palmer's company Mineralogy a massive AU$200 million.

Palmer has long been known for a larger-than-life character and eccentricities, as illustrated by his bold ambition rebuild the Titanic.

The Titanic II would be 883 feet long, weight 55,800 tons and carry over 3000 people.

He initially announced plans for the project in 2013, but financial troubles meant that little progress was made.

However, in September 2017, Palmer announced via a press release on the website that the project would recommence.


- Additional reporting News.com.au