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Maurice Blackburn leads shareholder class action

Maurice Blackburn leads shareholder class action

Melbourne-based mining company OZ Minerals is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over allegations it failed to disclose its debts.

MELBOURNE-based mining company OZ Minerals is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over allegations it failed to disclose its debts. 


IMF, a litigation funder, said proceedings in the Federal Court had been issued on behalf of IMF clients who purchased OZ Minerals shares between 21 August and November 2008.


The class action involves allegations the company failed to tell the market it was due to pay debts of US$560 ($619) million by November last year. 


Maurice Blackburn principal Ben Slade has said shareholders were unable to assess the risks involved in their investments. 


"In Australia, which is a progressive jurisdiction, companies have a continuous obligation to disclose all material facts to the market that aren't otherwise known," he said.


"The Australian accounting standard at the time and currently are that any debts that can't be deferred for at least 12 months after the reporting date have to be classified as current."


Slade, who said he hopes to see movement on the claim before a directions hearing this month, said his clients "don't want to have a long, drawn out fight". 


The courts, as well, "don't want these fights to be long and drawn out and we should sit down and talk", he said. 


OZ Minerals said on Wednesday that it notes a class action claim against it has been lodged. However, it said no proceedings have been served on the company.  The company says it will vigorously defend the claim. 


OZ Minerals was formed in 2008 through the merger of Oxiana Ltd and Zinifex Ltd. Bloomberg reports the company was forced to sell most of its assets to China Minmetals Group to repay debt after metals prices plummeted. 



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