Miners agree to special Chilean tax

A host of big-name mining firms have agreed to pay higher taxes to help fund reconstruction work in the wake of last year's devastating earthquake in Chile, the world's leading copper producer.

Around 80 per cent of the country's mining industry, including mines owned by Xstrata, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Antofagasta and Freeport McMoran, have agreed to the voluntary regime, which would lead to higher taxes if copper prices continue to rise. Miners have until Monday to sign up the scheme.

The country's mining minister, Laurence Golborne, expects more volunteers by the deadline, saying: "I expect that by Monday we will have more than 90 per cent of miners accepting the tax."