Bloomberg News

Mine Tax Won’t Extend Beyond Coal, Iron Ore, Australia Says

October 25, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Australia, the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore and coal, isn’t considering extending the scope of its new mining tax to cover other commodities, said Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson.

“We clearly entered into agreement with the mining industry last election, we remain committed to that agreement,” Ferguson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Perth.

Australia plans to introduce the 30 percent tax on profit from coal and iron ore operations at producers including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group. The government is facing a dispute with the resources industry over the latest draft, the Australian Financial Review reported yesterday.

“Don’t believe everything you see in the media,” Ferguson said. “We have basically an agreement with the mining industry and that’s basically been nailed down.”

The tax, forecast to raise A$7.7 billion ($8.1 billion) in its first two years from July 2012, will be used to lower the corporate tax rate to 29 percent from 30 percent, encourage retirement savings and pay for roads and railways, the government has said.

--Editors: Keith Gosman, Baldave Singh

#<726620.978562.2.1.95.14779.25># -0- Oct/26/2011 00:27 GMT

To contact the reporters on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at soraya@bloomberg.net; Shraysi Tandon in Sydney at standon14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net


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