Mining companies are being forced to operate at less than they were when the mining levy was introduced in 2014.
The slump in mining revenue is a consequence of the introduction of the tax and the rise in the price of copper, the world’s most valuable metal, has made the sector’s profitability even more difficult.
In April, the Government announced that the levy would be abolished by June 2020, meaning mining companies will have to be paid their share of the costs of the levy.
The industry’s biggest mining groups have said that they will continue to oppose the tax, and have even threatened to sue if it is reintroduced.
It is a dramatic turnaround from what happened just a year ago, when the industry had its lowest revenue in more than three decades.
“The government is now forcing a very significant change in the way that mining companies operate, as a consequence the government’s decision to make the mining industry pay the cost of the mine levy has had a major impact on the business,” said David Turek, director of the Australian Industry Group.
While the levy is still on the books, the government has not announced any plans to raise revenue from other sources.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said he would announce an update on the tax in the coming weeks, but warned that the impact on mining companies would be far-reaching.
This will affect us all, he said.
There will be consequences for the people who are going to be paying that price, for the businesses that are going do that, for other taxpayers who are also paying that cost, he told the ABC.
“We are going from the lowest level in the past decade, to the highest level in history.”