WA gold miners join tax fight

Some of WA’s most prominent gold miners have stepped up the fight against Julia Gillard’s mining tax, saying they would be the next target in the Government’s sights to overcome a huge budget shortfall.

The comments come on the last day of the Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie –Boulder.
Canadian billionaire Robert Friedland went so far as to call the Prime Minister “the redhead” as the industry rallied against the MRRT despite tax not currently being applied to gold miners.

Silver Lake Resources managing director Les Davis said miners had lost trust in the government and it was “only a matter of time” before the 30% mining profits tax was levied on more than just iron ore and coal.

"Twelve months ago we weren’t directly affected by the MRRT and we are certainly not directly affected today," Mr Davis said. "But 12 months ago I didn’t think I’d have a carbon tax and lose 6¢ a litre in diesel fuel rebate.

"Can we trust the Prime Minister? Absolutely not."

It has previously been estimated that the MRRT would face multi-billion dollar shortfalls, with some estimates going as high as $10 billion

Fortescue chairperson Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest also continued his campaign against the tax at the WA conference.

“Its not a tax reform, its just the opposite,”

“This means that it will be much easier for [mining companies] to develop [projects] offshore, and much harder for them to develop in Australia.”

BC Chief Mike Young said reiterating these comments, whilst warning of the threat from China.

“You will see a shift away from Western corporations doing takeovers and mergers, because the drivers are returning to the investors.” said Mr Young. “What you will see is more Chinese companies coming in, who aren’t concerned with profit, but are concerned about supply.

“This will actually create an opportunity for Chinese companies to come into Australia and secure more supply, because Western companies are now in Africa.”

Image:Kalgoolrie Miner

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