17 Jun 2010

Mining tax stand-off continues

12:25 pm on 17 June 2010

A stand-off between the Australian government and the mining industry over a proposed 40% tax on profits is continuing, with hopes an early break-through with the big miners now dashed.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had indicated he would consider requests by different parts of the industry for possible transitional arrangements, but the rate of the tax will remain the same.

But after talks in Canberra on Wednesday, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata issued a joint statement saying their key concerns are not being addressed.

All three oppose the tax on existing projects and claim that the tax rate will affect competitiveness and investment decisions.

Labor was looking to raise $A9 in revenue per year from the tax.

The Minerals Council says the federal government is not even close to a deal.

Rio Tinto says it's now reviewing all of its Australian operations under a worst tax scenario

The group has written to shareholders saying that had the tax been in place 10 years ago, it would not have invested so much in the Pilbara and would not be such a big iron ore producer.