Despite the levying of carbon pollution and mineral resources rent taxes, Australian mineral exploration spending achieved a record in the quarter ending March.
RENO (MINEWEB) – Spending on mineral exploration in Australia reached a record A$1.09 billion (US$1.09bn) in the March quarter-the first time more than a billion dollars has been spent on exploration in a single quarter.
In his weekly Treasurer’s Economic Note issued Sunday, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan observed “In fact, exploration expenditure has risen by about 35% since a price on carbon pollution was announced, and nearly 80% since the Minerals Resources Rent Tax was announced.”
“It’s yet another reality check for those who try to talk down the outlook for our resources sector or make ridiculous claims that important economic reforms are hurting investment,” he stressed.
Beginning on July 1, Australia will levy a controversial carbon tax on 294 firms for the A$23/tonne (US$22.96/tonne), with mining companies, steel makers and electricity generators among the largest polluters.
Australia is one of the world’s largest per-capita carbon emitters due to its reliance on coal for 85% of electricity generation.
“What’s often not appreciated is that Asia’s rise will create demand for a lot more than just our iron ore and coal,” said Swan. “That means there will be opportunities for more than just our resources sector.”
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