Barrick Gold Backs Australia’s Mining Tax

By : Subscribe to Vittorio's | August 8, 2012 10:00 AM IST

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While Australian mining firms and the political Opposition have been crapping about the mining tax, Barrick Gold Corporation backed the Gillard government's mineral resources rent tax (MRRT) and carbon tax.

Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, insisted that Australia is still a good place to do business and the introduction of the MMRT and the carbon tax does not make the land down under a hostile place for business.

"The geopolitical climate here is friendly towards mining. You struggle with a lot of the same issues and challenges that we have in North America," The Herald Sun quoted Barrick Australia Pacific Managing Director Mike Feehan who spoke to delegates to the Diggers and Dealers' conference in Kalgoorlie on Tuesday.

He said the difference between regulations in North America and Australia are very minor and mining firms in both places struggle with the same issues and challenges such as labour shortage.

"Governments across the world will decide what course of action they will take. From a business perspective, it is up to us to understand where those costs come from and the cost pressure that come with those taxes," Mr Feehan said.

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In the event of a decline of gold prices, Barrick would manage costs, he said.

Barrick runs five gold mines in Western Australia including the Superpit near Kalgoorlie which is the largest open cut gold mine in the country. Mr Feehan said the firm plans to grow its business further in the state by allocating about 20 per cent of its $450 million to $490 million budget for further gold exploration activities in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

He said the Kalgoorlie gold mine is still one of Barrick's primary assets, along with Kanowna Belle, Darlot and Lawlers given current gold prices.

Mr Feehan said he expects demand for gold to remain high due to central bank purchases of the yellow metal and rising jewelry demand in China and India.

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