The mineral exploration and mining sector is pleased that common sense has prevailed in seeing the passage of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) through Australia’s parliament, according to Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Simon Bennison.
“The Federal Labor Party’s support announced last Wednesday ended the uncertainty that has been surrounding the agreement,” he said.
“AMEC has consistently supported the ChAFTA along with Australia’s Free Trade Agreements with Japan and Korea.
“On full implementation of the ChAFTA almost all of Australia’s current resources exports will receive duty free entry into China. It will increase Australia’s international competitiveness and support Australia’s resources exports to China which were worth more than $74 billion in 2013-14.
“The agreement provides certainty for Australian exporters by locking in zero tariffs on iron ore and gold, and eliminating most remaining tariffs within four years. Elimination of the 3% tariff on coking coal from day one of the agreement and elimination of the 6% tariff on non-coking coal within two years will be highly beneficial to the Australian coal industry.
“According to Trade Minister Andrew Robb, the agreement offers the biggest series of concessions China has made with any other developed country in the world. This is an extremely positive outcome for the minerals sector and Australia as a whole,” Simon Bennison said.
AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia.