Nasser slams QLD Government over royalty hike

BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser says the QLD Government's move to hike royalties will result in more job losses and uncertainty for the future.

Speaking at a Fairfax Media lunch yesterday Nasser said the Government's royalty changes were "unbelievable," "disappointing," and "counter-productive".

The Australian reports Nasser said the royalties were yet another burden on a local industry that was already suffering.

"You've got declining coal prices worldwide, you've got a strong currency, you've got high labour costs and you've got capital expenditure costs that are also the highest in the world," he said.

Fairfax Media reports Nasser also said he suspected many coal mines were already losing money.

"I would suspect that many coalmines in Queensland today will be cash-flow negative," he said.

Eyeing not only state royalties but the carbon tax and mining tax, Nasser said both federal and state governments needed to "stop fiddling" with legislation and create more certainty for the mining industry.

Yesterday the Queensland Resources Council said there was a "near certainty" that new major coal projects in QLD would not see the light of day under the new royalties.

Image: The Conversation

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