Clive Palmer's office has denied the Queensland mining magnate is short of cash, despite a written request for funds from a Chinese business partner being made public.
In a letter leaked to News Limited, Mr Palmer asked his Chinese partner for a $200 million cash injection to help pay about 1,000 Australian staff.
Mr Palmer wrote that if the request was not met, there would be be irreparable damage to the goodwill between the two companies and to Australian-Chinese relations.
His spokesman confirmed the letter was sent to Chinese company CITIC Pacific more than three months ago, but said the request is no longer relevant.
Mr Palmer was not available for comment.
His office would not say whether he received the $200 million.
But Ian Ferguson, the managing director of Mr Palmer's Townsville refinery, Queensland Nickel, says media reports around the leaked request constitute a callous attack.