The Association of Mining & Exploration Companies (AMEC) has expressed its disappointment in the first budget to be handed down by Northern Territory Treasurer David Tollner, which outlines an increased tax burden on mining and exploration.

“The new taxes being imposed on exploration and mining companies in the guise of a Mine Rehabilitation Levy are far worse than the system proposed by the Territory Government last month. There is no relief for these companies which are now required to pay their usual environmental bond plus an additional 1% tax for operating in the Territory,” says AMEC regional manager Bernie Hogan.

“The NT Government has not consulted AMEC or industry on these changes. AMEC has previously highlighted that the WA Mine Rehabilitation Fund model would be the most appropriate solution for the Northern Territory government, industry and the community,” he adds.

The organization says the new tax regime is not the solution to mine rehabilitation, claiming it appears to be financing services provided as business-as-usual in other states, like processing permits and financing the geological survey.

“On top of this and without any warning, the Northern Territory Government announced they will remove deductions that encourage companies to set up headquarters in the Territory, and limit the ability of companies to internally trade between divisions.

“To add additional costs onto companies that are leading the way in providing economic development in the bush; employment in regional areas; and already delivering royalties to the Territory, shows a total lack of understanding from the government. The Territory Government missed the opportunity to show its support for the mineral exploration and mining industry, which is the lifeblood of finding the mines of tomorrow,” says Bernie Hogan.

“In a global market where exploration and mining investment must find the most cost effective use of funds, these taxes could easily send investment away from the Territory. AMEC calls on the Northern Territory Government to review these decisions immediately and engage properly with the exploration and mining industry to investigate other systems that will protect the Territory’s unique environmental values without crushing industries seeking to assist the Territory to fulfil its economic potential.”

AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia with more than 360 members nationally.

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