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Comparative International Tax Regimes

James Otto, Proceedings of 50th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2004)

Many mineral producing nations have recently revised their mining taxation systems or are now doing so. Changes in taxation systems will impact investors' perceptions, and some changes will be viewed positively and others negatively. This chapter examines: features of mineral sector taxation that differ from taxation of other types of economic enterprises, the relationship between taxation and investment, selected key issues relevant to taxation policy-makers, information on types and levels of tax and tax incentives in a wide cross-section of nations, and overall tax take in selected nations. The chapter concludes with recommendations.

§ 17.02 Introduction

The mining industry has always been a global industry. However, until the past decade large land areas were out of bounds because of political or legal constraints. For example, as recently as the mid-1990s most of Central Asia, China, Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Central and French-speaking Africa, and Brazil saw little significant foreign mining investment. Policy and legal reform have since opened the doors to foreign mining enterprises. As a result of these lowered barriers, companies now have unprecedented access to the Earth's geological resources. In deciding where to allocate their exploration and development budgets mining companies have tough decisions to make. Given that the policy and legal pl