BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser, in a letter to the company’s shareholders, yesterday described the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) a “good foundation” for future taxation arrangements.
Representatives from BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto conducted negotiations with the Federal Government last week to find a compromise on a profits-based resource industry tax.
The companies managed to win several key concessions from the Government to replace the original Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) with the MRRT.
“As outlined in my previous letters, BHP Billiton believes tax reform that is prospective, competitive, differentiated and resource-based will ensure investment in the Australian mining industry is not discouraged and so continue the growth of the industry in the interests of all Australians,” Nasser said.
“We are encouraged that the proposed MRRT is closer to meeting these principles than the original RSPT.
“We believe this decision to replace the earlier proposed tax with a better designed tax proposal is encouraging for the resources industry.
“A good foundation has now been established on which an effective tax can be implemented.”
According to Nasser, more work will be required before the impacts of the new tax will be clear.
“We will work with the Government to ensure that the final outcome of the minerals taxation proposal maintains the international competitiveness of the Australian resources industry and is in the long term interests of all Australians,” he said.