Australia's PM to finalize mining deal: local media

18:00, July 01, 2010      

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard set to finalize a deal with miners on the contentious resources tax, ending a two-month fight that has threatened Labor' s re-election chances, Australia's media reported on Thursday.

The prime minister was scheduled to meet with mining executives in Parliament House, in what looks to be her first major achievement since coming to office a week ago.

Her deputy Wayne Swan and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson have been in Canberra finalizing negotiations with mining giants BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.

According to Australian Associated Press (AAP), while the government would not confirm any details of the parties reaching an agreement on the tax, reporters spotted two drinks trolleys laden with champagne, wine and beer being wheeled into the cabinet room late Thursday afternoon.

Earlier on Thursday Swan indicated the government's willingness to negotiate with miners.

The government appears to have given ground on where the super profits tax would cut in, AAP said.

The former government initially set the threshold at the 10- year bond rate, now hovering at 5 percent.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had maintained the government would not budge on its 40 percent headline rate for the resource super profits tax.



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