The election is heating up in South Australia, with premier Jay Weatherill refusing calls to repeal the federal Mineral Resources Rent Tax.
Earlier this week the premier announced a suite of new developments and concessions for the mining sector in South Australia, but has said that the Mineral Resources Rent Tax was not material in South Australia.
“The Mineral Resources Rent Tax … has very little application here in South Australia where
essentially our principle minerals are not touched by the tax,” he said.
A spokesperson for the office of the premier gave the following statement: "
Current iron ore projects in South Australia would not be required to pay the MRRT based on the formula used by the Federal Government to calculate liability. Our major commodities in South Australia are copper, gold, zinc, lead, heavy mineral sands and uranium, which don't attract MRRT. "
South Australian Chamber of Mining and Exploration acting chief executive Jonathon Forbes said that this statement is true at present, leaving aside Alinta’s Leigh Creek coalmine and Arrium’s iron ore operation at Whyalla.
“The thing is, the next big wave of mines in South Australia is going to be in iron ore,” Forbes said.
“The market expectation is that there will be five to six new mines in the next fiv
e to seven years.
“Eventually those mines would be adversely affected by the tax.”
Premier Weatherill has also responded to claims that leaked documents have undermined the costing of the newly proposed core library, currently estimated to cost $32.2 million, and said he wasn’t concerned about the latest in a series of leaked documents.
“I’m not commenting on the unsourced documents,” he said.