Aussie iron ore baron gets OK to build world's biggest dinosaur park

Flamboyant Australian mining tycoon Clive Palmer on Thursday received the OK to build the world's largest dinosaur theme park on Queensland's Sunshine coast.

The regional council of the popular tourist area voted unanimously to approve the project to build almost 150 life-size Jurassic replicas despite receive some 200 objections over issues like parking and noise, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper:

"The approval was subject to 30 conditions, including noise and environmental concerns and on the proviso that all models would abide by various height restrictions of a maximum six metres, except for a Ruyangosaurus which will stand 10 metres tall.

"Roaring from the dinosaurs must not exceed 5 decibels above background noise levels. No vegetation is proposed to be removed and the resort site's environmentally sensitive areas are to be protected."

Palmer, 59, is also advancing a project to build an exact replica of the Titanic. Palmer expects Titanic II to be ready for its inaugural voyage by 2016 with a crew of 900 to look after 2,435 passengers, and will mostly follow the same route from Europe to the Americas.

The mining magnate, who first announced the plan back in April 2012, on the centenary of the ship's sinking, said he would travel steerage on the trip, because “that's where the fun people will be.”

Palmer made his money – his fortune is officially pegged at a little less than a billion dollars – from mining rights to the iron ore fields of Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Palmer announced in April he is reviving the United Australia Party and it will run candidates in the fall election.

The country should process its own natural resources locally instead of allowing countries like Japan and Korea to benefit, he said at the time of the launch.

Palmer is currently locked in a dispute with China's CITIC Pacific which is building a $6 billion-plus iron ore mine.

CITIC has already paid over D$400 million to Palmer, the owner of the underlying Sino Iron tenements, for the right to mine two billion tonnes of ore, yet Palmer is also demanding additional royalty payments worth as much as $500 million in relation to extraction and production.