PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) has warned that the commercial start of the $19.7-billion Eliezer Batista S11D iron-ore mine, in Brazil, is a reality check for Australian politicians looking to use the sector as a “bottomless cash cow”.
CME CEO Reg Howard-Smith said on Tuesday that commercial operations at the world’s largest iron-ore mine were expected to start this month, with mining giant Vale taking advantage of Brazil’s lower-cost taxation and royalty regime.
The Brazilian major inaugurated the new iron-ore project in December, with the mine ramping up to 90-million tonnes a year by 2020. Once the ramp-up is completed, about 2 700 employees will be working directly at the plant and mine and, at least, 10 000 indirect jobs will have been created.
“At the same time as the world’s largest mine creating thousands of jobs is getting under way, Brendon Grylls and the Western Australian Nationals are proposing a new iron-ore mining tax, which will make us even more uncompetitive on the world stage against our major competitor Brazil, destroy 3 400 Western Australian jobs and kill off investment,” Howard-Smith said.
Grylls has proposed imposing a A$5/t iron-ore production levy on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, to replace the current 25c/t payment.
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