Who owns our Mineral Assets? What the media wont tell you.

Below is a list of companies, who they are, who owns them and how much we get from them for letting them dig up and sell our resources. This list comes from journalist Stephen Mayne so be sure to check out his other articles here.

I read the weekend papers, every single editorial was against the proposed mining tax…even that dick flop of  newspaper ‘the age’. This is what all these editorials will not tell you and will not let you make up your own mind over. Please read the list and see how far your sympathy for the ‘Big Miners’ extends.

Argyle Diamond Mine: world’s biggest diamond mine, owned by Rio Tinto which is London-based and only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. Royalty cut from 7.5% to 5% from January 2006 in exchange for $1 billion under ground expansion which has been put on hold due to the global financial crisis.

Avesbury: nickel mine on Tasmania’s west coast which China’s MinMetals picked up with the bargain basement $US1.2 billion Oz Minerals buy in 2009.

Bass Strait: the Esso/BHP joint venture remains our biggest resource project in history having paid an incredible $68 billion in nominal taxes and at one point contributing 12% of Federal revenues. It’s been in decline since 1986 when it peaked at 550,000 barrels a day and it’s now down to less than 90,000 barrels a day and falling at the rate of 15% a year. However, the 3.5 billion barrels produced so far are worth more than $200 billion in today’s terms and there’s still an estimated 15-25 years of life in the project thanks to plentiful gas reserves. With BHP 40% Australian owned, the overall local equity is just 20%, but the Federal Government was raking in more than $500 million a year in resource rent tax when oil surged towards $US150 a barrel before the global commodities crash.

Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG: this gas field is 250km south of Suai in East Timor and 500km north-west of Darwin. The pipeline and $2.4 billion Darwin plant is operated by Houston-based ConocoPhillips with 56.72%. Other shareholders include Italy’s ENI 12.04%, Santos 10.64%, INPEX 10.52%, Tokyo Electric 6.72% and Tokyo Gas 3.36%. The entire output will be sold to Tokyo Electric and Tokyo Gas for 17 years. East Timor gets 90% of the royalties which are estimated to be worth $200 million a year when the project reaches full production. The development is worth more than $5 billion. Australian ownership is about 7% and East Timor ownership is zero.

Blackwater: the Bowen Basin mine in Queensland produces 14 million tonnes a year of coking and thermal coal and is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP-Billiton and Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi. BHP is 40% Australian-owned so overall foreign ownership of this mine is 80%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Blair Athol: one of Australia’s largest export thermal coal mines in Queensland’s rich Bowen Basin which produces 9% of all coal used in Japanese power generation. Operated by Rio Tinto which owns 71.2%, Unisuper has 15%, Japan Coal Development Australia 10.4% and 3.4% is with J-Power, which operates 67 power stations in Japan. It produces 11 million tonnes a year which is worth more than $1 billion. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne, and it is roughly 25% Australian owned. The Chinese government effectuively owns 6.5% through its 9% stake in Rio Tinto.

Boddington Gold Mine: Denver-based Newmont paid $1.5 billion to South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti for the remaining 33% it didn’t own, which is a much bigger price than the $225 million Newcrest fetched when selling 22.22% in March 2007. The recent $1.9 billion redevelopment generated an extra one million ounces a year worth. Australian ownership would be 5% at best through Normandy shareholders who accepted Newmont’s scrip takeover. Gold is free of state royalties in WA.

Bootu Creek: manganese mine in the Northern Territory operated by ASX-listed but Singapore-based OM Holdings which doesn’t disclose its royalty payments but money goes to the NT Government and the Northern Land Council.

Brockman/Nammuldi: located about 60 km north-west of Tom Price in the Pilbara and 100% Rio Tinto owned. Was slated for Chinalco to take a direct 15% and lift its Rio Tinto stake to 18% but this fell over so Chinalco only owns 9% through Rio Tinto. First opened in 1992 and then re-opened after a major upgrade in 2003. Annual production of 8 million tonnes worth more than $1 billion and WA is lifting the royalty rate from 3.75% to 5.62% under Colin Barnett’s Liberal Government in WA.

Burton: Bowen Basin coking and thermal coal mine in Queensland operated by US company Peabody Energy which produces almost 5 million tonnes a year. Used to be owned by Excel Coal before Peabody’s 2006 takeover. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Callide: one of the trophy assets operated by South African mining giant Anglo American. Produces about 10 million tonnes of thermal coal in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Callie: Northern Territory gold mine owned by US giant Newmont. Paid $28 million in royalties in 2006-07 which were split between the Territory government and Central Land Council.

Capcoal: a cluster of mines west of Rockhampton in Queensland which are controlled by South African mining giant Anglo American and has Japanese trading house Marubeni as a minority partner. Total coking coal production is running at 8.5 million tonnes a year. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Century: the world’s second largest open pit zinc mine, in Queensland which China’s MinMetals bought as part of its bargain basement $US1.2 billion deal to buy most of Oz Minerals in 2009.

Channar: the coastal Pilbara iron-ore mine has a capacity of 10 million tonnes. Rio Tinto owns 60% and China Iron and Steel the remaining 40%. Rio Tinto now only 13% Australian owned and Chinalco owns 9%, so overall Chinese government ownership 45.4% and overall Australian ownership just 8%. The WA government’s 3.75% royalty is set to increase to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Collinsville: banks once wrote off more than $500 million on this Queensland coking and thermal coal mine when it was operated by MIM in the mid-1990s. These days it is controlled by Swiss giant Xstrata with Japan’s Itochu as a minority shareholder and it produces almost 6 million highly profitable tonnes a year. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Cosmos Nickel Project: the trophy West Australian asset owned by Jubilee Mines which was bought by Swiss-based and London-listed Xstrata in a $3 billion takeover in 2007.

Dawson Central: BHP’s old Moura mine in Queensland plus two additional operations on adjacent tenures. Now 51% owned by the South African giant Anglo Australian and 49% by Japanese trading house Mitsui. After an $800 million expansion is now producing more than 12 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal a year. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Eastern Range: Rio Tinto 54% and Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation 46%, so overall Australian ownership is down to about 7%. Chinalco owns 9% of Rio Tinto so overall Chinese government ownership at 50.8%. Produces 6.5 million tonnes a year worth more than $700 million a year. At the standard 3.75% rate, WA royalty is more than $25 million a year but this is likely to rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Ensham: the thermal coal mine in Queensland produces more than 7 million tonne a year. It is 85% owned by Japanese company Idemitsu, one of the world’s biggest privately owned energy companies. Japanese utility J-Power owns 10% and Korean company LG has the remaining 5%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Ernest Henry: former MIM mine near Mt Isa that is now controlled by Xstrata which produces about 170,000 ounces of gold and 130,000 tonnes of copper concentrate a year. Profits exceed $100 million on annual revenue of more than $300 million and Australian ownership is zero.

Golden Grove: copper and zinc mine in WA which China’s MinMetals bought as part of its bargain basement $US1.2 billion deal to buy most of Oz Minerals in 2009.

Goonyella Riverside Mine: the Bowen Basin mine in Queensland produces 14 million tonnes a year of coking coal and is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP-Billiton and Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi. BHP is 40% Australian-owned so overall foreign ownership of this mine is 80%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Gorgon: the giant LNG project off WA and gas processing plant at Barrow Island is now expected to cost as much as $18 billion with deliveries to begin in 2011. Operator Chevron has 50% with Shell and ExxonMobil each owning 25%. Heads of agreement have been signed with three customers for 25 years, including Tokyo Gas and Chuaka Gas, with each taking 1.5 million tpy. The project is expected to generate $3 billion a year in export income and the Federal government will pocket an estimated $15 billion in resource rent tax over 25 years. The WA taxpayer gets nothing, but they are pressing the Federal government for a slice of the action. Zero Australian ownership.

Gove bauxite mine and alumina refinery: Alcan’s biggest Australian asset is now part of Rio Tinto which is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. Located at Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula in the east Arnhem Land region of the Northern Territory, a $3 billion expansion has lifted alumina production from 2 million to 3.8 million tonnes a year, but it only paid about $10 million in royalties to the government and Aboriginal land owners in 2006-07.

Groote Eylandt: manganese mine in the Northern Territory owned 60% by BHP-Billiton and 40% by South African giant Anglo American so overall Australian ownership just 25%. Paid $29 million in royalties in 2006-07, the highest of any Territory mine, with a portion going to the Aboriginal trust.

Hail Creek: a Rio Tinto operated coal mine in Queensland which produces more than 4 million tonnes a year. Marubeni Coal has 5.33% and Sumisho Coal 2.67%, with Rio Tinto holding the balance. Rio is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Harriet: US company Apache Energy controls the Harriet joint venture on the North West Shelf, which operates a string of profitable oil fields all processing through the Varanus Island production hub, which blew up in 2007.

Hope Downs: Rio Tinto’s newest iron ore mine in WA which is a 50-50% joint venture with Gina Reinhart’s Hancock Prospecting, so the Chinese government owns 4.5% through its 9% stake in Rio Tinto.

Huntly: bauxite mine in WA owned by the AWAC joint venture which is 60% with Pittsburgh based Alcoa and 40% with the Melbourne-based ASX-listed post box company Alumina.

Jabiru: uranium mine 220km east of Darwin in Kakadu which is owned by ERA, itself 68% owned by Rio Tinto, which is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. Overall Australian ownership about 20% and pays 5.5 per cent of its net sales revenue to the Federal Government each year plus $200,000 in rent for the use of the land. The Federal Government gives 4.25 per cent of the revenue money to NT-based Aboriginal groups including the Mirarr traditional owners.The remaining 1.25 per cent is paid to the NT Government. NT received $3.63 million in 2006-07, with the Aboriginals Benefits Account getting $12.37 million.

Jellinbah East: open cut coal mine near Blackwater in Queensland that produces almost 4 million tonnes of coking and therml coal a year. South African mining giant Anglo American has about 23%, Japanese trading house Marubeni 15% and the remainder is held by private companies and individuals such as Jim Gorman and Sam Chong. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit: 50-50 joint venture between Canadian company Placer Dome and Denver-based Newmont which produces more than 800,000 ounces a year. Australian ownership of our biggest gold mine is less than 5% through Newmont and no gold royalty is payable in Western Australia.

Krestel: the old Gordonstone coal mine in Queensland which Rio Tinto renamed after buying out Arco in 1998. Japanese trading house Mitsui has 20%. A recent $1.1 billion expansion will extend its life by 20 years but Rio Tinto is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Liddell: the Hunter Valley coal mine has just been expanded to 3.5 million tonnes per year and is 67.5% owned by Swiss giant Xstrata and 32.5% owned by the Japanese joint venture Mitsui-Matsushima. The NSW government collects 7% for open cut mines.

Marandoo: commissioned in 1994, this 100% Rio Tinto operation is therefore effectively 9% owned by the Chinese government through its direct stake in Rio Tinto. Located about 45km from Tom Price and adjacent to the Karijini National Park. The nominal production capacity of 15 million tonnes is worth more than $1.5 billion. Australian ownership is only 13%. The WA government collects a 3.75% royalty which will rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

McArthur River: zinc mine in the Northern Territory owned by Swiss giant Xstrata. Paid no royalties from 1995 until 2006 but shelled out $26.12 million in calendar 2007 as part of a deal to facilitate a $110 million expansion. Will pay $32 million to an Aboriginal community benefit trust over the 21-year life of the mine, but future royalties to the Territory government are unknown.

Mesa J: this Pilbara mine is the world’s biggest supplier of low grade iron-ore. A massive 50-60 million tonnes is shifted each year which, after processing, translates into about 32 million tonnes of saleable ore, worth more than $3 billion. Rio Tinto owns 53%, Mitsui 33%, Nippon Steel 10.5% and Sumitomo Metal 3.5%, so overall Australian ownership is just 7% because Rio is only 13% Australian owned, with Chinalco owning 9% of Rio Tinto and therefore 3.18% of this project. The WA government pockets a 3.75% royalty which is worth about more than $100 million a year and is slated to rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Moranbah North: underground coking coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin that produces about 4.5 million tonnes a year for South African mining giant Anglo American. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Mt Owen/Ravensworth East: this combined Hunter Valley coal mine has development approvals to expand to a whopping 15 million tonnes per annum. It is 100% owned by Swiss-based mining giant Xstrata. The NSW government collects 7% for open cut mines.

Mt Tom Price: Rio Tinto’s oldest operation started production in 1966 and still produces up to 20 million tonnes a year worth more than $2 billion a year. Australian ownership is only 13%. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto. WA government royalty of 3.75% is set to rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Mt Isa Mines: one of the few places in the world where the four minerals – copper, zinc, lead and silver – are mined in close proximity. Owned by Swiss-based and London-listed Xstrata since the MIM takeover in 2003, Mt Isa is now a bonanza with annual production capacity of 5.1 million tonnes of zinc/lead and 6.2 million tonnes of copper which at the top of the boom was producing profits of more than $1 billion a year. Queensland royalty take peaked at almost $100 million a year.

Mt Newman: Australia’s second biggest iron ore project is 85% owned by BHP Billiton, 10% by Mitsui-Itochu Iron and 5% by Itochu Minerals. Annual production of more than 25 million tonnes is worth more than $2 billion, so the mine is worth at least $5 billion and Australian ownership is 34%. WA taxpayers pocket a 3.75% royalty, which is slated to rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Nammuldi: part of Rio Tinto’s Hammersley Iron division in the Pilbara. The Chinese government owns 9% through its direct stake in Rio Tinto which is only about 13% Australian owned.

Newlands: includes the Eastern Creek open cut coal mine and the Southern underground mine west of Mackay in Queensland. Total coking and thermal coal production of almost 9 million tonnes a year. Controlled by Swiss giant Xstrata with Japan’s Itochu holding a minority interest. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Newpac No1 Colliery: Xstrata won control of the Hunter Valley coal mine through the $1 billion-plus takeover of Resource Pacific in 2007-08. The Newpac mine is having a new longwall built and should reach 8 million tonnes per year by 2010. The NSW government collects a 6% royalty for underground mines.

North Goonyella: underground coking coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin which produces 1.5 million tonnes a year and is owned by US coal company Peabody Energy. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

North West Shelf: The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Venture each own 16.67%. Woodside Petroleum, 38% owned by Shell, is the operator, then you have Shell itself, BHP Billiton, which is 40% Australian owned, BP, Chevron Corp and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd comprising a partnership between Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi. The Chinese government’s CNOOC holds a 25% share in China LNG, a new joint venture within the existing structure that diluted the other parties down to 12.5% each. Was exempt from the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax until Wayne Swan’s first budget in 2008, but does pay royalty of about 10%, 68% of which passes to the Federal government. Overall Australian ownership is about 10% and a total of $19 billion has been invested so far.

Norwich Park Mine: the Bowen Basin mine in Queensland produces 5.7 million tonnes a year of coking coal and is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP-Billiton and Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi. BHP is 40% Australian-owned so overall foreign ownership of this mine is 80%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Oaky Creek: This group of underground and open cut coking coal mines in Queensland’s Bowen Basin produce 6.5 million tonnes a year and are owned by Swiss mining giant Xstrata. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Origin CSG reserves: US giant ConnocoPhillips has agreed to pay a minimum $US5 billion for 50% of Origin’s Queensland coal seam gas reserves, plus a huge 40train LNP facility in Gladstone.

Paraburdoo: in the Pilbara near the coast and 100% owned by Rio Tinto, which is 9% owned by the Chinese government through Chinalco. Produces 11 million tonnes a year which is worth more than $1 billion based on 2008 prices and standard 3.75% royalty applies, although this is slated to rise to 5.62% under Liberal Premier Colin Barnett.

Peak Downs: the Bowen Basin mine in Queensland produces 9 million tonnes a year of coking coal and is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP-Billiton and Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi. BHP is 40% Australian-owned so overall foreign ownership of this mine is 80%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Puffin: China Petrochemical Corporation, China’s biggest energy distributor secured 60% control of the Puffin oil field in the Timor Sea from the struggling AED Oil in a 2008 deal that values the assets at $1 billion.

Ranger: uranium mine in Kakadu operated by ERA, which is 68% owned by Rio Tinto, the London-based company which is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto. Overall Australian ownership about 25% and paid $16 million in royalties in 2006-07, with $2.63 million going to the Northern Territory and $12.37 million to the Aboriginal Benefits Account.

Rolleston Coal Mine: Swiss-based Xstrata’s Queensland mine which cost $540 million. Sumisho Coal Australia and IRCA Rolleston each own 12.5%. Queensland government’s 7% royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne. Produces about 8 million tonnes a year, so worth at least $2 billion given thermal coal contract prices north of $US100 a tonne since 2002. Australian ownership zero.

Saraji: the Bowen Basin mine in Queensland produces 6.8 million tonnes a year of coking coal and is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP-Billiton and Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi. BHP is 40% Australian-owned so overall foreign ownership of this mine is 80%. The previous 7% Queensland royalty has risen to 10% for all coal sold at more than $100 a tonne.

Weipa: the world’s biggest bauxite mine at the top of Cape York produces 16 million tonnes a year and is 100% owned by Rio Tinto, meaning it is only 13% Australian-owned. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco.

West Angelas: the $880 million Pilbara iron ore mine commenced production in 2002 at a rate of 7 million tonnes per annum, but is now up to 25 million tonnes worth more than $2.5 billion a year. Rio Tinto owns 53%, Mitsui 33%, Nippon Steel 10.5% and Sumitomo Metal 3.5%, so overall Australian ownership is just 8% but the WA government pockets a 3.75% royalty which should be worth more than $100 million a year.

Wheelarra: BHP-Billiton’s 12 million tonnes per year iron ore mine located 40kms east of Newman in the Pilbara, which is 40% Chinese-owned based on 10% stakes held by Wuhan Iron & Steel, Maanshan Iron & Steel, Jiangsu Shagang and Tangshan Iron & Steel. Normal 3.75% royalty applies.

Willowdale: bauxite mine in WA owned by the AWAC joint venture which is 60% with Pittsburgh based Alcoa and 40% with the Melbourne-based ASX-listed post box company Alumina.

Woody Woody: the manganese mine in the Pilbara was bought by Ukranian billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov after the protracted takeover battle for Consolidated Minerals in 2008.

Worsley Alumina: the giant bauxite mine and alumina refinery in WA is a joint venture between BHP Billiton (86%), Japan Alumina Associates (10%) and Sojitz Alumina (4%). Given that BHP-Billiton is only 40% Australian owned, Worsley is 34.4% locally held.

Yandi: Australia’s biggest iron ore mine is owned as follows: BHP Billiton 85%, Itochu Minerals 8%, Mitsui Iron 7%. Production of more than 35 million tonnes worth over $3 billion for this 34% Australian owned through BHP Billiton’s 40% Australian ownership. WA taxpayers pocket a 3.75% royalty worth more than $150 million a year.

Yandicoogina: Rio Tinto’s biggest Australian iron ore mine in the Pilbara with a recent expansion lifting annual production to 52 million tonnes. Chinalco had proposed buying a direct 15% stake. Produces revenue of more than $5 billion a year for London-based Rio which is now only 13% owned by Australian investors. The Chinese government currently owns 9% of Rio Tinto through Chinalco. The 3.75% annual royalty payment generates more than $200 million a year for WA taxpayers, but this slated to rise to 5.62%.

Yarwun: aluminium refinery near Gladstone is 100% owned by Rio Tinto, although Chinalco was proposing to buy 50% for $US500 million. Rio is only 13% Australian-owned and the Chinese government through Chinalco currently owns 9%.

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