Mining adds to WA’s $1.1 operating surplus

The higher royalties for iron ore has taken the Western Australian finances from deficit to an opening surplus of $1.1 billion.

Figures released today by WA Treasurer Christian Porter show that in the six months prior to December 2010, higher royalties from the state’s major iron ore miners greatly contributed to the surplus.

As did a one-off $350 million payment from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

A year earlier, WA reported an operating deficit of $259 million.

State revenue has seen an increase of $2.1 billion to $12.27 billion.

Of the talks between the government and BHP and Rio last year, Porter said, “the main driver of this increase was a rise of $964 million in mining royalties, partly due to the State Government’s successful negotiations to remove the royalty concession on iron ore production.”

“The government also successfully resolved a long-standing issue relating to the applicable royalty rate for the Robe River Mesa J Mine, resulting in a one-off back-payment of $55 million.


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