Australia’s mining sector has opposed the carbon tax package released by The Australian Government that requires polluters to pay A$23 (US$24.5) in tax for a metric ton of carbon from 2012.

According to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the new tax will cost the minerals industry A$25bn between 2012 and 2020 and will be the highest carbon tax in the world.

MCA said that the decision to impose the carbon tax on emissions from coal mines is unique and 90% of Australia’s minerals exports will have no safeguarding under this scheme.

The council has also said that the carbon tax will compromise the competitiveness of Australia’s export and import sectors without environmental benefit.

MCA has urged the government to align its approach and adopt a phased approach to the introduction of carbon permits.