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HOTLINE: A Titanic tempting of fate?

May 01, 2012 | 10:00 PM |

Clive Palmer, the owner of a company involved in Australian mining projects, is planning to build an exact replica of the RMS Titanic and intends calling the oceangoing vessel Titanic II.

If there is one thing you can call a few metals and mining magnates, it's eccentric.

As a case in point, there's Clive Palmer, owner of Brisbane-based Mineralogy, a company involved in projects to mine iron ore and cobalt/copper in his native Australia.

Mineralogy’s website also lists the planned Austeel plant in Western Australia among its projects.

But Palmer is not limiting his construction plans to steel plants. He also wants to build an exact replica of the RMS Titanic and intends calling the oceangoing vessel Titanic II.

Yep: he wants to reproduce the liner that sank in the north Atlantic on its maiden voyage in April 1912, with the loss of an estimated 1,512 of the 2,217 souls on board.

Palmer is eyeing China’s Jinling Shipyard to build the ship, which would tentatively make its first voyage from England to North America in 2016, according to reports.

Passengers need not fret about their safety, however, as Palmer claims Titanic II will boast all the latest technology to ensure it won't sink.

(Where have we heard that before?)

To be fair, Palmer did acknowledge that if a hole were punched in the vessel it would be likely to bring about its demise.

Hotline, though neither a shipbuilder nor an engineer, is quite certain that an Olympic-class ship’s general design will simply not fly by anybody’s standards today.

To top it all off, Palmer also announced his plans to contest the Liberal National Party preselection for the post of Australia's deputy prime minister and treasurer – right at the same time that he announced his plans to duplicate the Titanic.

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