Pacific plunder Australian mining companies have paid little or no corporate income tax in PNG despite huge profits

by Josh Nicholas and Kate Lyons

08 June 2021

PNG has vast natural resources, with gold, silver and copper mines dotted around the country, as well large petroleum and liquefied natural gas reserves, but comparatively little of the wealth from these resources makes its way into government coffers or trickles down into communities.

In 2018, oil and mineral products made up almost 90% of the value of Papua New Guinea’s exports but less than 10% of government revenues, according to the latest data from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Oil and mineral products contributed an even smaller share of government revenues in previous years.

This is partly due to PNG’s taxation system, which uses an additional profits or “rent tax” method of taxation, which is complex, rather than a more straightforward flat royalty rate.

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