October 10th, 2010

Ferguson consults with miners over tax

By Babs McHugh

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson appears to have taken a more conciliatory approach to negotiations with Australia’s miners over tax.
He’s in Perth with members of the Policy Committee into the mineral resource rent tax (MRRT) and has met with lobby groups and individual companies.
His last trip to Perth was marred by a confrontational lunch with angry mining executives, who questioned the deal he struck with BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto to tax only coal and iron ore.
One issue that rankles with smaller companies is the $50 million threshold at which the tax kicks in, and although Mr Ferguson won’t promise a change, he says it will be considered…(Please click on link below for full article)

…Meanwhile, magnetite miners are appealing to the Government for exemption from the proposed tax.
The issue was discussed yesterday in Perth with the Government’s policy transition group, lead by BHP Billiton’s Don Argus and Mr Ferguson.
The executive director of the magnetite network, Megan Anwyl, says the value of this particular type of iron ore before it’s processed is too low.
“Iron ores are different. We say that magnetite should be exempt from the tax on the basis that the Government is talking about taxing the value as it comes out of the ground,” she says.
“There’s very little value to magnetite ore as it comes out of the ground. It’s only after the very expensive, intense processing that it acquires some value.”
©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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