The FT’s Lex on taxing mining companies:
A 40 per cent resource tax was Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd’s undoing. Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, whose proposed tax hike is linked to the price of copper, Chile’s biggest export, should avoid that fate. Australia’s Henry tax was reviled by miners, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata and subsequently watered down. Yet Chile’s tax has evinced no such reaction from copper producers, including – unsurprisingly – state-owned Codelco, the world’s biggest producer. The differing reaction is best explained by the way the tax was proposed, even if the popular justifications are similar.
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