BHP fires $1 billion shot at Palaszczuk over royalties as mine closure reports swirl

Queensland’s coal wars have ramped up further with BHP setting aside $US750 million ($A1.1 billion) in case it has to close its central Queensland coal mines earlier than anticipated.

Dec 09, 2022, updated Dec 09, 2022
Two Qld coal mines are at the centre of the dispute (file photo)

Two Qld coal mines are at the centre of the dispute (file photo)

It follows Glencore’s decision this week to scrap its Valeria thermal coal mine in central Queensland and blame the State Government’s royalty hike, which has netted Treasury $2 billion more than it anticipated in the Budget earlier this year.

The decision is another serious blow to the Government and allows the industry to paint its royalty policy as anti-business. However, BHP has not said the mines, within the BMA joint venture with Mitsubishi, would close early, just that they might.

It has previously said the royalty hike meant it was putting on hold investing further in Queensland coal.

There have also been reports that BHP was looking to sell some it is central Queensland mines, but it has refused to comment on the issue. It sold out of its Queensland coal joint venture with Mitsui this year and is aligning its assets to include the highest quality coals.

BMA asset president Mauro Neves said the increase in royalty tax rates, “which are now five times higher than New South Wales and by far the world’s highest, are starting to bite”.

“New projects, thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment are on the line across the Queensland resource sector.

“The outlook for future investment in Queensland under this policy is increasingly bleak.

“We are unable to make significant new investments in Queensland and some mines may close earlier than planned because of the government’s increase in royalty tax rates.

“It’s disappointing that despite this, the Government continues to refuse to constructively engage with industry to discuss how this investment exodus can be reversed.

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

“The Government should reconsider and work with industry to keep Queensland competitive.

The company said it had invested $17 billion in Queensland in the past decade.

The Government is yet to respond to requests for comment on the BHP move.

The Queensland Resources Council has said the Government had miscalculated the revenue the new royalty tax would generate and the long-term damage it will cause to the resources sector.

“The Government got it wrong about how much its royalty tax increase would collect, and it’s got it wrong about what these changes mean for the future of one of Queensland’s most important industries,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.


Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy