Posted April 06, 2020 17:08:40The tech industry has been in the news lately for its alleged ties to the mining industry.
Last month, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced that it had arrested a “co-founder of a group of Australian mining companies” for allegedly conspiring to engage in illegal mining.
The group, the Queensland Minerals and Metals Corporation, allegedly met in 2016 to “exploit” an underground coal deposit in the Eastern Suburbs of Queensland to profit from its “super-high-tech mining and processing facilities.”
The arrests came just two weeks after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced a crackdown on the group’s activities.
At the time, the company’s website listed six Australian subsidiaries, which together account for more than $3 billion.
The Queensland Mineral and Metal Corporation’s website also listed four Australian subsidiaries with interests in Australia’s coal mines.
The company’s Australian subsidiary was incorporated in New South Wales in 2011.
The ASIC has since issued a number of subpoenas to its Queensland subsidiaries, including one on April 12 that sought documents related to the company.
The ASIC investigation into the Queensland Mining Corporation is currently underway.
The Queensland Mining Corp., which is listed on the ASIC’s website as a subsidiary of a company called Minerals Australia Limited, has previously said that it does not “consist of or engage in unlawful activity,” and that the company has “never sought to influence Australian laws.”
It added that it is a “mineral company that does not conduct any mining activities or engage directly or indirectly in the activities of other mining companies in Australia.”
According to ASIC, the group “has been operating as a business unit for the past 25 years.”
The Australian Securities Exchange has also announced an investigation into Minerals Australian Limited.
It is unclear how the Australian mining industry plans to get its money.
The industry, which has been targeted by the government in the past, has been a major source of income for the Australian Government.
The government has spent $11 billion on mining subsidies since 2007.
The Federal Government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) program, which was designed to promote mining in the country’s north-east, has cost the economy $1.1 billion.
The Queensland Minerally Processing Company is also the subject of a number criminal investigations, including the investigation by the Queensland Police and Crime Commission (QPC).
A spokesman for the Queensland Government said the Queensland Mineral Resources Authority (QMRA) “was unaware of any illegal activity by any of its companies,” and said it “had nothing to do with the matters raised in the Australian police investigation.”
The Queensland Government has also said it has “not been advised” by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that it has breached the mining laws.
The QMRA’s director of public affairs, Rob Brown, said the Australian taxpayer should be “not confused” with the Queensland State Government, which owns the Queensland government-owned mines.
“We are not the Queensland or Australian taxpayer, we are the Queensland and Australian taxpayer,” he told the ABC.
“So, the taxpayer is not confused by the QMRC’s and QMSA’s position.”
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s Department said it had no comment on the Queensland investigation.
While Queensland is the biggest mining state in Australia, its share of the world’s coal reserves has decreased significantly since 2008.
A report published last month by the University of Queensland’s School of Mines and Technology found that Queensland’s coal mining sector is worth less than half its previous value, which fell from $1,800 billion in 2008 to $900 billion in 2020.
The study noted that Queensland has “slightly increased” its share in world coal production from 20 percent to 22 percent since 2008, with the decline due to falling demand and “an increase in international demand.”
Australia’s mining industry is also experiencing a major decline in revenue, with a record $5.5 billion lost in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
Australia has been grappling with a high-profile coal mining crisis in the last few years, as more than 30,000 miners were laid off during the Great Recession.