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Local, international coal miners decry Australian royalty hikes

Move by Queensland government raises fears over investment environment

A coal mine in Queensland: The Australian state has sharply raised royalties charged on coal production, raising costs for miners. (Photo courtesy of BHP Group)

SYDNEY -- The state government of Queensland, a major Australian coal producing region, in July raised the royalties coal mining companies must pay, provoking a backlash from producers and related industries.

The new royalty schedule increases costs for mining companies, although the impact will depend on coal prices. While the Queensland authorities maintain that costs will rise only if coal prices stay high, miners warn the royalty increases will discourage new investment.

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