Australian mining magnate puts iron ore project on hold

09:01, May 14, 2010      

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Mining magnate Clive Palmer revealed on Thursday his iron ore company has put a West Australian project on hold because of the federal government's resources super profits tax.

He said the board of directors of his company Mineralogy decided to put the brakes on one of his planned Balmoral South iron ore projects in the Pilbara region due to growing uncertainty over the tax.

That was on top of a 29 million Australian dollars (26 million U.S. dollars) cut to a planned 30 million Australian dollars (27 million U.S. dollars) exploration in South Australia, Palmer told reporters in Perth.

The proposed resources super profits tax will impose a 40 percent tax on mining companies which earn profits six percent above the Australian bond rate.

The resource tax is part of a package which will cut the company tax rate of small business, helping ease the impact of the compulsory increase to employer superannuation contributions.

"I pay nine percent for all my workers and I would be paying 12 percent under the arrangements.

"But it would be my money going to my work force not this money the government is collecting in tax," Palmer said.

Thousands of workers would be out of jobs if the proposed tax went ahead and that was the only reason he was fighting it, Palmer added.



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