Government hasn’t spent mining revenue wisely: Anglo American

Anglo American has called on government to repair the reputation of Australia’s business sector, saying the mining tax debate has caused reputational damage.

Company chief executive Mark Cutifani said heated mining tax debates has got people in Europe and Asia concerned about Australians clashing with each other, rather than talking the issues out, Courier Mail reports.

“That is something they say they haven’t seen for 20 or 30 years,” Cutifani said.

Addressing the Minerals Council of Australia in Canberra tomorrow, Cutifani will say the government has not spent mining industry revenue wisely.

“There is a lack of vision, but it’s even worse than that,” he said.

“It worries me that we have been fighting each other, rather than working together.

“I am amazed by how many people who are observing us remark on how we are fighting each other, rather than just our normal robust debate.”

Crediting the Queensland Government’s recent push for increasing transparency around project approvals Cutifani said he has been impressed.

But he highlighted it has been a difficult process under the mining and carbon tax regimes.

He said both the mining and carbon taxes have damaged Australia’s reputation and the approvals process is being duplicated.

“It is making it more difficult to get projects approved,” Cutifani said.

“We used to have state governments that were the primary stewards of projects. Now there is the Federal Government and local government. Everybody is duplicating and triplicating things.

“The industry is responsible for 20 per cent of economic benefits and I can’t see why it should be treated like that,” Cutifani said.

Cutifani said he would like to see government and industry working together to strengthen the economy.

Taking inspiration from the manufacturing sector, Cutifani is reviewing Anglo American’s global operations.

He explained the company’s Brisbane based metallurgical coal business is an example of how Anglo American should operate globally because it secures and develops opportunities and has managed to improve productivity levels.

Anglo American operates six metallurgical coal mines and two thermal coal mines.

Cutifani will today visit the company’s Moranbah North underground mine located west of Mackay, and will also be inspecting the $1.7 billion Grosvenor project currently under construction, Daily Mercury reports.

He will also visit Anglo American’s Dawson mine in Moura.

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