Rio Tinto mad over Australia mining tax

Nick Bryant May 24, 2010
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Rio Tinto mad over Australia mining tax

Nick Bryant May 24, 2010
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by Nick Bryant

It’s a 40 percent super tax on the what the Australian government is calling the mining company’s super profits. And, not surprisingly, the resources giant Rio Tinto isn’t too excited about it.

Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto’s chief executive, has now warned the government that the company’s money and jobs could go elsewhere.

“It does change the relative attractiveness of Australia versus the other countries that we do invest in,” says Albanese. “And I think that should be recognized.”

The Australian government says it wants even more benefits from the large amounts of money being made from selling Australian resources.

But Albanese says the tax is punitive and unfair.

“The mining industry has been a good industry for Australia and we’ve played our part. And certainly it’s contributed to keeping Australia out of recession during the past Global Financial Crisis.”

With an election just months away, the Australian government was convinced its super-tax was a sure-fire winner. But now it’s agreed to discuss alternatives with the mining companies, arguably Australia’s most powerful lobby.

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