Australian miners take battle against tax to High Court

The Australian resources sector has taken its battle against the Gillard government’s contentious new mining tax to the nation’s High Court.

Fairfax reports
that an application filed by pure iron player Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) to have the Minerals Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) reviewed has been accepted by the High Court, and that a full bench will hear the case as early as March next year.

Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, Fortescue’s founder and chairman, filed the application against the new tax scheme in June of this year.

The High Court’s decision arrives just following reports that the Gillard government’s much-ballyhooed MRRT netted zero revenue from the three biggest miners operating in the country – Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Xstrata (LON:XTA) during its first three months of implementation,

Prominent voices in Federal politics have also issued calls for the MRRT to be revised, yet in a manner directly inimical to the mining sector’s fiduciary interests. Greens leader Christine Milne has proposed that the tax be revised to raise revenue generated to AUD$26 billion from a project AUD$9 billion at present.

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