South Australia should double its existing royalty rate to bring it up to speed with other States, according to a Greens MP.
SA Greens MP, Mark Parnell is calling for the SA royalty rate to be substantially increased and invested in community facilities and future mining developments.
“South Australia is currently earning a 3.5% royalty from the Olympic Dam mine, compared to a 7.5% royalty rate in Western Australia and 7-10% in Queensland,” he told MINING DAILY.
“South Australia needs to at least double the royalty rate to invest in future projects that will continue to fuel the State’s economy,” he said.
BHP is currently undertaking feasibility studies and approvals to expand the Olympic Dam mine, which would become one of the largest gold, copper and uranium sites in the world.
“There is no question whether BHP has the money to deliver the funding… They are one of the wealthiest companies on the planet,” Parnell said.
Parnell said a royalty increase will bring South Australia in line with other states in and ensure the State takes full advantage of the Olympic Dam expansion, if it goes ahead.
“A royalty increase would deliver funds to provide new schools, facilities and renewable energy initiatives that will benefit the wider SA community,” he said.
“The community deserves to see a return from the mine.”
BHP Billiton will release an environmental impact statement on the planned mine expansion on Friday that will be open for public comment until August 2009.