Northparkes Mine at Parkes will be unaffected by the Government’s super tax that is no more. The amendment by the Gillard Government to make the tax commodity-specific has eased the concerns of the local mining industry.The future of a potential mining project near Dubbo that could last hundreds of years is looking more certain after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced changes to the Federal Government’s mining tax yesterday, according to Alkane managing director Ian Chalmers.
Nanjing Night Net

Alkane’s plans for the Dubbo Zirconia Project, Wellington Project, Orange Joint Venture and reactivation of the Peak Hill Gold Mine – all of which are in the exploration stages – emerged unscathed from the Federal Government’s resources tax.

“Prior to today … it could have (had) a potential impact on the (Tomingley Gold Project) and Dubbo project,” Mr Chalmers said yesterday.

“The last 24 hours have made me feel a lot more certain.”

Ms Gillard yesterday did away with the Federal Government’s Resource Super Profits Tax and announced it would be replaced by a Minerals Resource Rent Tax after a compromise with the country’s mining bosses.

The super profits tax would drop from 40 per cent to 30 per cent and only focus on the country’s biggest and most profitable commodities – iron ore, coal, oil and gas.

Alkane’s projects, Endeavor Mines at Cobar and Northparkes Mines all involved zirconia, gold, silver, copper and lead.

“It will have no impact on us at all … it leaves out everything that we do,” Mr Chalmers said.

These companies would now continue to comply with the tax regime they were already subject to.

“This is a pretty big positive for us and the metal mining industry generally,” he said.

The Labor Government’s original proposed resource tax plan announced by Kevin Rudd failed to recognise how different metal is, Mr Chalmers said.

But its commodity-specific focus was now “how it should have been”.

He said Alkane conducted business as usual prior to the changes announced by Ms Gillard.

“We adopted the view that until (it was) made policy we’d keep going and assume it would not impact on us,” he said.

But the 15 years Alkane spent conducting exploration and feasibility studies on the Dubbo Zirconia Project could have proved to be “a big waste of time and waste of money” if the original plan was maintained, he said.

Mr Chalmers said if it goes ahead the Dubbo project would be a “good thing for local employment”.

“And the nice thing about (zirconium mining) is it has the potential to last hundreds of years,” he said.

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