Australia has ended a damaging dispute with global miners by dumping its super tax for a lower resources rent tax backed by key global miners, it has been announced.
The Minerals Resource Rent Tax exempts most commodities and will apply only to iron ore and coal projects at a rate of 30% instead of 40%, as previously announced under the super profit tax.
Onshore oil and gas projects will come under the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax, currently applicable to only offshore oil and gas projects.
The trigger-point for the resource tax will be raised to around 12%, up from an earlier proposal for around 5%, at the ten-year Australian Government bond rate.
The tax rate will apply on the market value of miners’ existing assets, signalling the tax would apply retrospectively.
BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata welcomed the new resources tax regime, in a joint statement.
Xstrata also said it is reinstating its $508m in copper mining and exploration at its Ernest Henry mine in Queensland.
The rent tax will not affect the majority of Australian companies due to their concentration on other commodities.