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http://bhpbilliton.com/bb/investorsMedia/news/2010/bhpBillitonDisappointedWithNewAustralianMiningTax.jspBHP may have this covered in advance by getting the 90% price increase for iron ore and coal.Australian states' rights are stronger than in USA.Some of the new 40% tax could be offset by deduction, offset (or reduction) of duplicative state taxes. See note at the end of the news release.This is still a negotiation. I doubt you will see a full 40% tax, if any.
it's still over 2 years away even if it does happen...doesn't kick in until July 2012.