Miners escape mining tax a second time

Despite a recent surge in the iron ore price, resources giants say they will escape paying the mining tax for the second quarter in a row.

The Australian reports BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, and Fortescue Metals Group will not be liable for mining tax payments when the deadline rolls in next week.

The latest payments mean the minerals resource rent tax will have raised no money since taking effect on July 1 last year.

According to The Australian company tax payments from miners have also dropped due to falling commodity prices, with the iron ore slump last year almost halving Rio Tinto's WA tax bill.

The shortfall from Rio alone is expected to have cost Canberra $500 million, with the company thought to be paying around $1 billion a quarter in tax before iron ore prices fell.

Despite the disappointing outcome for the Federal Government, iron ore prices are back to $US158 a tonne, and Deutsche Bank analysts have tipped the price to hit $US170 within weeks.

While some analysts say the boost could mean higher tax and MRRT payments for miners, Goldman Sachs estimates MRRT payments will be minimal even if prices are sustained around the $US150 level.

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