Iron ore miners in Western Australia paid three quarters of all royalty payments in 2015 – or $3.9 billion, according to new data from the Department for Mines and Petroleum.
Based on recent iron ore prices of $60 per tonne, iron ore royalty payments -which include the mining lease rental – equate to $4.75 for every tonne mined in Western Australia.
These payments are on top of other fees and charges paid by the major miners including interest on borrowings, exploration costs and capital costs.
Nationals WA leader Brendon Grylls has targeted two of the biggest contributors and employers in WA – BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – in planning an increase to their 25c per tonne mining lease rental to $5 per tonne.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said today’s figures showed iron ore miners were already paying a substantial sum for Western Australia’s resources.
He said the Nationals WA plan to tax BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto $5 per tonne on top of the royalty payments and other fees and charges they already pay, would mean significant cost cutting would have to be implemented as a result.
“The royalty receipts released today by the Department already show iron ore miners are responsible for the majority of royalty payments to the State,” Mr Howard-Smith said.
“Mr Grylls now wants to tax these companies even further through imposing an additional tax of $5 per tonne on top of all the payments they already make.
“This is an ill-conceived, poorly thought out plan which will only see a cut to jobs and investment in the Pilbara, the very region Mr Grylls is supposed to represent.”
The full information on 2015 royalty payments can be found at the DMP website.