Facts on the tax and mining profits

Surging commodity prices
– Since 2004 the contract price of iron ore has risen 600 per cent. High quality coking coal has risen by 400 per cent.
– This year’s contracts for iron ore signed in April deliver 80 per cent higher prices and new prices for coal are up to 55 per cent higher

Surging profits
– BHP Billiton is expected to make a $23.5 billion profit in 2011
– Rio Tinto is expected to make $15.7 billion profit in 2011
– Both sums are more than double last year’s amount
– The profit margin for mining companies was 37.1 per cent last financial year, compared to the average for all industries of 11.2 per cent
– Last year’s increase in the personal wealth of the mining magnates in the BRW 200 rich list is almost $8 billion

Mining company tax
– Mining companies have avoided $35 billion in tax over the last decade because they get charged royalties (payments to state governments) by amount of minerals produced, not on mineral price or profits made

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