The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has praised the Coalition’s plan to introduce a tax credit for investors in junior explorers if elected.
The Opposition has made a commitment to introducing the $150 million Exploration Development Program by 2011-12.
According to the Liberal Party website, the scheme will provide a tax credit to Australian resident shareholders for eligible greenfields exploration expenditure.
A ‘no taxable income’ test will ensure the credits are only available to junior explorers.
AMEC chief executive Simon Bennison said thousands of small explorers would warmly welcome the program.
“Although we are still to work through the detail, the proposed Exploration Development Program should address many of the issues AMEC has highlighted and advocated over the last decade in order to provide a significant boost to the minerals exploration sector,” he said.
“Such a program will provide potential investors and shareholders with an opportunity to invest in high risk minerals exploration projects.
“This will help counter the damage in exploration investment confidence created by the Government’s RSPT and MRRT.
“The Program will also lead to increased exploration expenditure and have a significant flow on effect throughout the economy, thereby creating jobs and opportunities for thousands of Australians, particularly in remote and regional locations.
“The foresight shown by the Coalition should be commended, as increased exploration today will result into the mines of tomorrow, to the benefit of all Australians.”
The Coalition will engage in consultation with AMEC, the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Minerals Council of Australia.