Mining tax takes effect, stakeholders speak out

While the future of the mining tax and its impact remains uncertain, some sections of the business community have condemned it following its introduction last weekend.

The Australian reports WA Premier Colin Barnett has joined in attacking the policy, and has claimed the tax's main impact would be felt in the future.

"That won't show up immediately because most of the big projects have already started production," he said.

"But go forward five years and you will find that will discourage investment in the minerals industry and in minerals processing."

According to ABC News Atlas Iron managing director Ken Brinsden said the mining tax would dent foreign investment in the sector.

"As additional cost burdens are introduced to the mining industry, almost inevitably it will have an impact on the extent to which people choose to invest in Australia," he said.

The Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy also told ABC News it does not support the policy.

"Anything that hampers investment or puts a dampener on future projects is certainly nothing that we would welcome," it said.

In a statement where it also condemned the introduction of the carbon tax, the Minerals Council said the mining tax would "erode the minerals industry's international competitiveness".

Whilst complaining about its complexity and the short consultation period, the Minerals Council gave its approval to the mining tax late last year.

AAP reports the Federal Opposition has reinforced claims the Government will earn only a third of what Treasury has forecast for the mining tax.

The claim has also been made by Fortescue Metals Group, which last month launched a High Court challenge against the mining tax on constitutional grounds.

Whilst targeting the iron ore and coal sectors, Platts reports RBC Capital Markets analyst Chris Drew said "no one in coal will pay much" because of the legislation.

On the weekend Prime Minister Julia Gillard said many Australian's weren't seeing the benefit of the mining sector and the MRRT was about "sharing the benefits of the mining boom".

"We want to take that economic strength and share it in increased family payments for people doing the hard work of bringing up kids, in increased superannuation for working Australians, and in better infrastructure, particularly for our mining communities who are seeing the benefits of growth but also the stresses and strains it can bring," she said.

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