Risk Alert! BHP Cancels Coal Expansion in Queensland – Highest Coal Royalties on the Planet

Some countries are patient and like golden eggs, some however like Turkey and seems that Queenslanders like Turkey a great deal indeed!

  • BHP has raised the issue of serious sovereign risk of doing business in Australia for the first time since the Whitlam years.
  • BHP has suspended new investment in its coal mines in both Queensland and NSW.
  • BHP has stated that the Queensland government’s decision to raise coal royalties is no longer competitive or predictable, resulting in BHP not making significant new investments in the state.
  • BHP is not even providing annual sustaining capital expenditure guidance at this time.
  • BHP is “actively reviewing operational plans, existing commitments and logistical practicalities”.
  • Meanwhile other nations are forging ahead with new mine developments
  • Three new royalty tiers added (see below) with the maximum rate of royalty increased from 12.5% to 40%

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The Government in the Budget Papers states that “The addition of the new tiers is not expected to have any material impacts on the coal industry or viability of producers, given the increases are applied only at relatively high prices.” As always I do wonder if the government will be there to provide price support for industry when prices ultimately return to levels which are unprofitable? The new impost will raise an additional AU$1.2 billion in 2022-2023.

Previous Coal Royalty Rates

New “Fair” Coal Royalty Rates

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