Rio avoids mining tax bill: report

Miner likely to report no mining tax bill, further undercutting forecasts.

Despite healthy iron ore prices and a lower dollar of late, Rio Tinto Ltd is expected to escape the first quarter of the new financial year without having to pay any mining tax, according to The Australian.

Rio also managed to avoid paying any mining tax in the first half of 2012-13, and is expected to report that its calculations show it does not owe any mining tax for the June quarter either, The Australian reported.

The revelation further undercuts Labor's already-lowered forecasts for mining tax revenues. Rio and fellow mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd were expected to be the only two miners to pay the tax in its first years, but that has proven thus far to not be the case.

In May, Treasury estimated $700 million in mining tax revenues for 2013-14, far below the original forecast of $4 billion. But now even the $700 million figure appears optimistic.

The June quarter mining tax is due to be paid this week.

Thus far, Rio has made only one mining tax quarterly payment, for the March quarter, when iron ore prices averaged nearly $US150 a tonne. Of late they have hovered around $US125 a tonne.

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