A CENTRAL Queensland cattle station owned by Clive Palmer will go under the hammer next month as Queensland Nickel administrators look to rid the company of surplus assets.
Mamelon Station, a 6258ha property described as productive grazing land, sits on the Bruce Hwy near Marlborough.
The station was bought from a grazing family for $8.25 million in 2010 by Mr Palmer's mining company, QNI Metals, for its underground coal resources.
Since then, it has been leased to a grazier while its mineral resources have remained untouched.
The company went into voluntary administration on January 18, shedding doubt on the future of QNI's Yabulu refinery near Townsville.
Administrator FTI Consulting is selling the land as part of a strategy to compensate for losses made producing nickel in a bid to keep the company running.
Trenton Hindman, one of the Colliers International agents responsible for the property's sale, said buyers should look to maximise its potential as grazing land.
"It's a functioning cattle property," he said.
"It was purchased when the coal price peaked in 2010, above the ground it is a very productive property."
Mr Hindman said the property's proximity to Rockhampton meatworks and live export opportunities was also an asset for potential buyers.
He said it was likely a local cattle producer or group would be the successful bidders on the day.
"It is attracting a lot of media attention because of the previous owner," Mr Hindman said.
"We've had a lot of interest."
But Central Queensland pastoral sales expert Lea Taylor expects any sale to fall well below the $8.25 million paid by Mr Palmer six years ago.
Mr Taylor, who is not involved with the sale of the property, said Mr Palmer bought the property for its underground mineral resources, including undeveloped coal tenements.
He said any loss would represent the difference between the market value of the rural land and the price Mr Palmer had been willing to pay for the coal and mineral resources six years ago.
"I think he'll sell it, but he'll have to sell it at today's market value," Mr Taylor said.
"He's not going to get the money he paid for it."
As a result, Mr Taylor said a drop in the price paid for the property would not be reflective of the market as a whole.
"Quality rural properties are selling well within market range."
The station will be auctioned by Colliers International at Rockhampton's Empire Hotel on March 18 at 1pm