Sand mining set for Twiggy's place

JUST who is behind the $2 company that has won the right to mine Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's Pilbara cattle station?

JUST who is behind the $2 company that has won the right to mine Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's Pilbara cattle station?

The WA Mining Warden last month chucked out Forrest's objection to an application by Yarri Mining to convert exploration licences it holds over 117 hectares of Twiggy's Minderoo spread to mining leases.

Not even the presence of a mysterious carnivorous marsupial, the mulgara, was enough to convince Warden Stephen Wilson to stop the sand-mining operation going ahead. For good measure, Wilson also described Twiggy's attempt to force Yarri to pay a $200,000 bond as a condition of their licence as "outrageous" and an attempt to "create some form of dictatorial power".

Wilson also noted that Yarri has agreed to sell its exploration rights over the land to a company called Onslow Resources.

Interestingly, Onslow was Yarri's owner for a few months in late 2010 and early 2011.

Onslow used to be owned by Rand Resources, which boasts among its directors colourful Perth mining identity Anton Billis.

After selling most of its shares in Onslow for $626,831 in 2011, these days Rand holds just 6.35 per cent of the company.

And as for Yarri, ASIC records show its sole director is Perth miner Anthony Slater, while its owner is a company called Euro Resources Limited.

Euro gives a Singapore address, care of financial services firm Heritage Trust Group, but the trail goes cold in the Lion City.

A search of the Singapore company database failed to turn up any company called Euro Resources Limited.

It's all about as clear as the sand Yarri intends to dig up at Twiggy's place.

APN's Kiwi woes

SPEAKING of mystery, CBD is still none the wiser as to how leaderless media group APN managed to embroil itself in a $NZ72 million ($A59 million) fight with the Kiwi Inland Revenue Department.

A tipster suggested the Kiwi taxman's angst might relate to a deal back in 2001 in which then-owner Tony O'Reilly sold APN's New Zealand newspaper mastheads to JPMorgan, leased the rights to them for seven years and then bought them back. Not so, a company spokesman said.

In the absence of a better suggestion, that leaves as the frontrunner CBD's idea that the stoush relates to APN setting up an Irish special purpose vehicle called Marnin Ltd in 2005, "to enter into a finance transaction on behalf of the group".

According to Irish company documents, in 2005 Marnin purchased NZ$349.5 million worth of " fixed interest bearing mandatory convertible notes", which it has agreed to sell to "a third party" in 2014.

The transaction is funded by a loan that is being repaid at the same rate as Marnin receives interest on the notes.

It's a stretch

FORGET the supermarket oligarchy, the mooted takeover of Network Ten by Uncle Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, regulating giant porn and cat video funnel the national broadband network or taking on the world's biggest credit company, Visa, over exchange rates.

Clearly, the burning issue on competition czar Rod Sims' plate is leotards.

The Australian Physie & Dance Association has asked Sims' Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to let it force its 2000 members to buy leotards from its preferred supplier, Makamy Designs.

What is physie? CBD is glad you asked. It appears to be short for "physical culture" and involve teams of girls and women competing in choreographed competitions.

In an application filed with the ACCC earlier this month, the APDA says that Makamy "has been requested to specifically design leotards approved by APDA for in-competition purposes" in styles and colours designed and approved by the organisation.

The APDA isn't the only physie organisation that has a preferred supplier of stretchy suits. The website of the Bjelke-Petersen School of Physical Education, founded in the 1890s by Sir Joh's uncle, Hans-Christian, lists Danz Design as its "official leotard supplier".

No word yet on whether Sims will suit up to test the goods.

An inglorious end

THE corporate watchdog has cancelled Paul Pattison's ticket as a registered liquidator after the veteran insolvency industry practitioner was declared bankrupt in December.

If he doesn't mount an appeal to the AAT, it will be an inglorious end to a storied career.

Pattison's companies were wound up in 2010 and 2011 with debts totalling more than $4.7 million, and he copped a four-year ban from running corporations last month.

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