Resources giant BHP said on Tuesday it would review its coal mining production after being shaken by a steep rise in some Australian royalty rates that have angered trading partners such as Japan.
BHP has seven coal mining operations generating the mineral for use in steel production in a partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi.
They are located in the state of Queensland, whose government has raised royalties to take advantage of high coal prices and boost public spending.
The rise earned a rebuke from Tokyo’s ambassador to Australia, who said the higher royalties would deter Japanese investment in the state.
The Australian coal mining industry has also opposed the rises.
“The near tripling of royalties has worsened what was already one of the world’s highest coal royalty regimes, threatening investment and jobs in the state,” BHP chief executive Mike Henry said.
BHP’s fourth-quarter results showed strong performances by coal mining and copper mining, offset by weakness in iron ore output and other metals.
- George Russell
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