Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will meet with second-tier mining company executives today to discuss the federal government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax.
The junior mining companies, including Gindalbie Metals Ltd, Atlas Iron Ltd and Grange Resources Ltd will claim that the MRRT favours the three largest miners BHP Billiton Ltd, Rio Tinto Ltd and Xstrata who negotiated the agreement with Julia Gillard last week, to the detriment of their second-tier mining operations, The Australian reports.
Small miners earning less than $50 million a year will miss out on having to pay the MRRT, those earning more than $50 million, some 320 second-tier miners will be slugged at the 30 percent MRRT rate.
Resource Minister Martin Ferguson plans to meet with executives this morning in Perth at 7:30am AWST.
Atlas chief executive David Flanagan said the agreement was a deal struck by the big end of town and penalised the second-tier miners.
“The Government’s done a deal with the two South Africans and an American.” Mr Flanagan told the ABC.
“We’re all the juniors who are out here giving it a red hot go, we want to become great Australian companies, and by not having a representative from our group in those negotiations those big companies have looked after themselves.”
Mr Flanagan plans to present the Resource Minister with a number of points of compromise over the tax, including lifting the ‘hurdle rate’ (the rate at which the tax comes into effect) plus recommend reintroducing the exploration rebate which was shelved when the RSPT became the MRRT.