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Miners want clarity over new tax

, On Tuesday 14 December 2010, 12:50 EST

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says the Federal Government needs to clarify its mining tax or risk investment worth billions of dollars.

The Federal Government has signed an agreement stating "all" royalties will be refunded under the new tax but there is a dispute over whether that includes future increases in state charges.

Mining giant Xstrata says it will have to review up to $20 billion worth of planned investment if it is not resolved.

QRC spokesman Michael Roche says the mining industry needs certainty.

"It's only a few years ago that the coal industry woke up one morning to find an extra $600 million impost on royalties," he said.

"That's the sort of fear that investors will have that the states will be allowed to run rampant in the future with royalty increases."

Mr Roche says $100 billion worth of projects are on the drawing board in Queensland.

"These are projects waiting the go-ahead from company boards and those company boards need to take account of all of the factors before committing shareholder funds," he said.

"One of those considerations has to be any uncertainty around future tax arrangements."