Tax, red tape drowning coal sector: Rio

Energy CEO says regulatory environment had 'dramatically diminished' industry's confidence to invest.

Rio Tinto Ltd has warned royalties and growing uncertainty in the regulatory environment are will "dry up" investment in Australia's coal sector, according to The Australian Financial Review

Rio energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney said politicians needed to better understand the effect of taxes, wage rises, infrastructure charges and extra regulation on the coal industry, the newspaper said (see Tim Treadgold's re-examining Rio). 

He said the regulatory environment had “dramatically diminished” the industry’s confidence to invest, the AFR reported. 

“This year we estimated a real Rio Tinto project in Australia – I won’t tell you which one, or its estimated value – had its value reduced by 30 per cent because of a three-year delay in approvals,” he said.

“The effect of the strong dollar further reduced its value by around 43 per cent and the carbon tax removed a further five per cent."