Junior exploration company Chameleon Mining NL has commenced legal action against iron ore miner Murchison Metals Ltd, even though Murchison has previously dismissed Chameleon's claims as baseless.
Sydney-based Chameleon is seeking to gain ownership of Murchison's shares in its half-owned mining subsidiary Crosslands Resources Ltd, because of transactions undertake in 2004 by the previous management of Murchison.
Its legal action also names Phillip Grimaldi, Gregory Barnes and Pinnacle Nominees Pty Ltd, and claims that Murchison contravened the Corporations Act in 2004.
The dispute revolved around ownership of certain tenements at Jack Hills in the Mid West region, which have become much more valuable as a result of Murchison's mine development plans.
Chameleon is claiming ownership of Murchison's shares in Crosslands, or a proportion of them as the Federal Court may determine.
Alternatively it is seeking Murchison's profits from its ownership of Crossland shares, or its profits from the sale of a 50 per cent shareholding in Crosslands to Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd.
Murchison said in a statement that it refuted Chameleon's "opportunistic claim".
Having just received the claim, Murchison and its legal advisers will now consider the document in detail, the statement said.
However, an initial review confirms Murchison's view that the claim against Murchison and Crosslands has no substance.
Murchison said the action would be vigorously defended and that it intended to investigate whether it could take action against Chameleon for damages for abuse of process.
The legal action was launched on the eve of Murchison's annual general meeting tomorrow, at which a major focus will be an update on the company's slow moving takeover bid for Midwest Corporation Ltd.