Tengrinews TV Радио Tengri FM Радио Жұлдыз FM Laws of Kazakhstan
Write us +7 (727) 388 8020 +7 (717) 254 2710
искать через Tengrinews.kz
искать через Google
искать через Yandex
USD / KZT - 333.25
EUR / KZT - 352.95
CNY / KZT - 48.31
RUB / KZT - 5.60

Australian mining industry 83% foreign-owned

30 june 2011, 13:41
Australia's mining industry -- the main driver of its booming economy -- is 83 percent foreign-owned and huge profits go overseas, according to a study released Wednesday by the Greens party, AFP reports.

The report, produced by a private consultant commissioned by the Greens, said that in the next five years Aus$50 billion (US$53 billion) in profits from Australian mining operations would flow offshore.

Greens leader Bob Brown used the report to argue that more of the money should remain in Australia, pushing the case for a super profits tax on miners, rather than the government's less onerous Mineral Resources Rent Tax.

He also wants a sovereign wealth fund set up to help sectors of the economy suffering because of Australia's commodities rush.

"Amid a mining boom, while the federal government faces budget pressures and as the Reserve Bank of Australia prepares to raise interest rates, parts of the economy are wallowing," Brown said.

"The mining boom is creating massive problems for other parts of the Australian economy.

"If the country's minerals wealth is not properly managed, many Australians will actually be worse off and Australia's prosperity will be put at risk."

The Mineral Resources Rent Tax -- set to apply to iron ore and coal from July next year at a rate of 30 percent -- replaces Canberra's original "super profits tax", which applied at 40 percent across the entire resources sector.

It is expected to raise an estimated Aus$40 billion over 10 years, with the cash to be used to fund infrastructure, pensions and tax cuts for small businesses.

But Brown wants it expanded to include gold and uranium and for the corporate tax cuts to be scrapped, with the money instead put into a sovereign fund.

"I think Australians simply have been left in the dark about the rapid takeover of ownership offshore of Australia's minerals," he said.

"I don't think Australians have any idea that Australia's mining industry is 83 percent foreign owned."

The three biggest miners in Australia -- BHP, Rio Tinto and Xstrata -- all have significant foreign ownership at 76 percent, 83 percent and 100 percent respectively, according to the research.

Other iconic "Aussie" miners are also partly foreign-owned with Fortescue at 40 percent and Gloucester Coal at 63 percent, it said.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson played down the report, saying "foreign investment is welcome in Australia".

"I think we as a community have to understand that our economic prosperity historically is built of the back of foreign investment," he told reporters.

"It's been good for Australia in the past and it will be good for Australia in the future."

Minerals Council of Australia chief Mitch Hooke called the report "xenophobic", saying it relied on flawed projections "to make a crude case for punitive new taxes on the minerals sector".

"The Greens leader Senator Brown is campaigning to close down the coal industry and ban uranium mining. Now he wants to tax the industry out of existence," he said in a statement.

"The projections in the Greens' report are irreconcilable with the facts."

He claimed that in the last decade, 98 percent of the cash flow from Australian mining operations was paid to the state in the form of taxes and royalties or reinvested.

"The companies repeatedly targeted by the Greens are all on record demonstrating they have reinvested in Australia either all, or most, of the revenue they generated from their Australian operations, over the past decade."

By Martin Parry

Add comment
Most Read
Most Discussed