The West Australian premier has downplayed his verbal attack on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, claiming he never suggested the two mining giants were colluding.

Colin Barnett took an unprecedented swipe at the companies last week, saying they were “flawed in trying to manage the world price of a commodity” and telling them to “remember who your landlord is”. On Tuesday, he lashed at them again in parliament, saying business and economic logic suggested the…