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Australian Coal Royalty Rise Shocks Japanese Investors

In an unusually candid speech, ambassador Shingo Yamagami said his country would think twice about investing in Queensland due to its new windfall tax

Vietnam is among the world's top 20 coal users. Photo: Reuters


Japan’s ambassador to Canberra has hit out at a sharp rise in royalties imposed by Queensland, one of the top coal-producing states in Australia.

In an unusually candid speech, Shingo Yamagami said his country would think twice about investing in Queensland due to its new windfall tax.

Shingo Yamagami said there was “great concern” about Queensland raising royalties without consulting the coal mining industry after a 10-year freeze.

“Make no mistake, this is a huge shock for Japanese companies,” Yamagami said in a speech at the University of Queensland on Wednesday.


Royalty On Coal In Queensland

The top rate was set at 40% for Australian coal over A$300 ($204) a tonne, far above royalty rates anywhere else.

“The future of the successful partnership between Japanese businesses and Queensland as a competitive investment destination could be at great risk,” Japan’s ambassador said.

Japanese firms Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi and Idemitsu Kosan all have major Australian coal investments, especially in Queensland.

They are looking at new investments in minerals, hydrogen and renewables, which Yamagami said would require mutual trust with the state government.

“Some Japanese companies are already questioning whether Queensland will continue to be the safe and predictable place to invest that they had known for decades,” the envoy said.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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