The spectre of other resources-rich countries joining Australia in imposing extra taxes on the mining industry was raised again yesterday when an influential state-run newspaper in China urged the authorities in Beijing to impose a similar levy.
Mining giants such as Rio Tinto and Xstrata have attacked the proposals by the Canberra government, which says it aims to impose the 40 per cent so-called Henry tax from 2012. The English language China Daily said that China should charge a similar levy.
"This is perhaps the main danger of the Henry tax: the fact that this is giving and reviving ideas to other governments," said Christian Georges, an analyst at Olive Tree Securities.
Rio Tinto reaffirmed yesterday that it was reviewing its operations in Australia, but denied reports that it has shelved projects. "We've got our projects on hold while we try to understand the ramifications of a 40 per cent increase in taxes," said Sam Walsh, the Anglo-Australian group's head of iron ore.