Tom Albanese: Carbon tax another hurdle to overcome.
Tom Albanese: Carbon tax another hurdle to overcome. Rob Griffith

Miners' reactions not carbon copy

AS THEY face the looming spectre of a carbon tax, two of Queensland's largest mining companies are telling different stories.

Swiss multi-national Xstrata and London-based powerhouse Rio Tinto have been included in a list of 248 carbon polluters that will cop the tax from July 1.

Xstrata has 13 operations across the State and could face a bill of up to $250 million a year in the tax's first five years.

After that, the bill potentially could increase.

Xstrata's London office would not be drawn on consequences for its mines or workers, except to say it would be costly.

"The scheme represents a significant cost on our Australian business, particularly when you consider that many of our international competitors do not currently face any cost on carbon," a spokeswoman said.

In its annual report last week, Xstrata described how the threat of carbon taxes in Australia, Canada and South Africa would hit its "ability to maintain production or contain operating costs".

Xstrata's equally powerful competitor Rio Tinto, with its own handful of Queensland operations, was more relaxed about the approaching tax.

Rio Tinto global boss Tom Albanese told a Brisbane event on Friday that no resources business could foresee battles on the horizon but would need the flexibility to react.

Mr Albanese said it was the question marks that worried investors, and this was another hurdle to overcome.

"Whether it is royalties locally, the minerals resource rent tax, carbon or just worrying what is going to come next," he said.

"My view is that . . . the industry has to stop worrying about what comes next.

"Our bankers, our financiers can build into their spreadsheet, saying this is what the tax rate is.

"Let's get on with business and let's get on with investment," Mr Albanese said.



Steven Bradbury stops by Rocky on lager tour

Premium Content Steven Bradbury stops by Rocky on lager tour

The Olympian travelled across Central Queensland offering taste-testing...

Woman in hospital after North Rocky crash

Premium Content Woman in hospital after North Rocky crash

The crash occurred on Clifton Street and Ford Street.

Dad busted with drug utensils with crystal residue

Premium Content Dad busted with drug utensils with crystal residue

A former panel beater caring full-time for two of his children was busted with drug...