australian mining industry 83 foreignowned
Last Updated : GMT 13:03:42
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Australian mining industry 83% foreign-owned

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Arab Today, arab today Australian mining industry 83% foreign-owned

Sydney - AFP

Australia\'s mining industry the main driver of the booming economy is 83 percent foreign-owned, according to a study released by the country\'s Greens party Wednesday. The report, conducted by a private consultant commissioned by the Greens, said that in the next five years Aus$50 billion (US$53 billion) in profits from Australian mining operations would go offshore. Greens leader Bob Brown used the report to argue that more of the money should remain in Australia, pushing the case for a super profits tax on miners, rather than the government\'s less onerous Mineral Resources Rent Tax. He also wants a sovereign wealth fund set up to help sectors of the economy suffering because of Australia\'s mining boom. \"Amid a mining boom, while the federal government faces budget pressures and as the Reserve Bank of Australia prepares to raise interest rates, parts of the economy are wallowing,\" Brown said. \"The mining boom is creating massive problems for other parts of the Australian economy. \"If the country\'s minerals wealth is not properly managed, many Australians will actually be worse off and Australia\'s prosperity will be put at risk.\"  The Mineral Resources Rent Tax set to apply to iron ore and coal from July next year at a rate of 30 percent replaces Canberra\'s original \"super profits tax\", which applied at 40 percent across the entire resources sector. It is expected to raise an estimated Aus$40 billion over 10 years, with the cash to be used to fund infrastructure, pensions and tax cuts for small businesses. But Brown wants it expanded to include gold and uranium and for the corporate tax cuts to be scrapped, with the money instead put into a sovereign fund. He said Australians had little idea how much of the country\'s resources were foreign-owned. \"I think Australians simply have been left in the dark about the rapid takeover of ownership offshore of Australia\'s minerals,\" he said. \"I don\'t think Australians have any idea that Australia\'s mining industry is 83 percent foreign owned.\" The three biggest miners in Australia BHP, Rio Tinto and Xstrata -- all have significant foreign ownership at 76 percent, 83 percent and 100 percent respectively, according to the research. Other iconic \"Aussie\" miners are also partly foreign-owned with Fortescue at 40 percent and Gloucester Coal at 63 percent, it said. Minerals Council of Australia chief Mitch Hooke called the report \"xenophobic\", saying it relied on flawed projections \"to make a crude case for punitive new taxes on the minerals sector\". \"The Greens leader Senator Brown is campaigning to close down the coal industry and ban uranium mining. Now he wants to tax the industry out of existence,\" he said in a statement. \"It is clear the Greens have no intention of promoting the development of Australia’s minerals industry to the benefit of all Australians. \"The projections in the Greens\' report are irreconcilable with the facts.\" He claimed that in the last decade, 98 percent of the cash flow from Australian mining operations was paid to the state in the form of taxes and royalties or reinvested. \"The companies repeatedly targeted by the Greens are all on record demonstrating they have reinvested in Australia either all, or most, of the revenue they generated from their Australian operations, over the past decade.\"

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