The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) this morning voiced its disappointment that the Resource Exploration Rebate will not be part of the new Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT).
In a statement, the Institute believed the concessions would relieve political pressure on the Government, but had still left many questions unanswered.
According to AusIMM president Greg Chalmers, the Exploration Rebate was one of the positive aspects of the original Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) plan.
“We realise this is a pragmatic decision by the government in its bid to preserve the net revenue expected to flow from the MRRT, but it once again breaks a clear 2007 election promise by the Labor Party to encourage increased exploration in Australia,” he said.
“The AusIMM and other industry groups have made submissions to the government since 2007, arguing for the introduction of a flow-through shares scheme to correct a long-standing anomaly in the national tax system.
“Indeed, the opportunity to replace our depleting mineral inventory through increased exploration activity is the only way to address the Prime Minister’s major concern expressed this morning: mineral resources can only be extracted once.
“AusIMM and others will be asking the government how it plans to restore Australia’s position as a leading explorer.”
Chalmers also made the point that the majority of the potentially impacted companies were still waiting to be consulted on the details of the MRRT.
He said the Institute would take its concerns to the Policy Transition Group, a new body announced this morning to oversee the tax’s implementation.
The Policy Transition Group will be headed by former BHP Billiton chairman Don Argus and Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.