25/07/2013 - 15:34

AMEC proposes new tax credit for explorers

25/07/2013 - 15:34

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AMEC proposes new tax credit for explorers
AMEC chief executive Simon Bennison.

A mining industry representative group says a new tax credit needs to be created for Australian miners to ensure the successful development of new mining operations.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison said research from the University of Western Australia showed around half of Australia’s non bulk commodities mines would be exhausted within seven to 18 years.

He said the figures were particularly alarming when considering it takes, on average, around seven years to convert a discovery into an operating mine.

Mr Bennison said to address a “desperate need” to discover the mines of tomorrow, AMEC was proposing a mineral exploration tax credit (METC) to allow current losses to be passed back to their Australian share owner.

“The METC will stimulate the greenfield exploration sector which has not seen an increase in actual metres drilled for over a decade, despite one of the strongest periods of growth in the Australian mining industry,” Mr Bennison said.

“It will also increase the rate of discovery and lead the mines of tomorrow, as well as provide future revenue streams for governments.”

The proposed tax credit would require government investment of $50 million in 2016-17, $101 million in 2017-18 and $133 million in 2018-19.

“The challenge is for the political parties to have the vision now to create investment strategies and catalysts that are 10-15 years from when these revenue streams are fully achievable,” Mr Bennison said.

“Jobs and other social and economic benefits are achievable in the short term.”

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