Sundance's Jones Says `No Doubt' Gillard Will Modify Position on Mine Tax

(Corrects title for George Jones in second paragraph.)

There’s “no doubt” that Julia Gillard, who ousted Kevin Rudd as Australian prime minister today, will change the government’s proposed 40 percent tax on mining projects, Sundance Resources Ltd. said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised by the end of the day if she announces the current proposal is being withdrawn,” former Chairman and Strategic Adviser George Jones told Bloomberg Television. “There’s an acceptance within the mining industry that a renegotiation of these taxes is going to happen.”

Rudd, who served the shortest term as leader since 1971, stood down after Gillard challenged his leadership in Canberra today. Gillard took the leadership and needs to be sworn in by Governor-General Quentin Bryce as the country’s first female prime minister.

The Rudd government in May announced a proposal to levy a 40 percent tax on the profits of mining companies, drawing criticism from the resources sector with Xstrata Plc and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. putting expansions worth $21 billion on hold.

“Julia is going to instill a process more akin to the proper democratic way of doing it and perhaps take time as she should for this very significant issue,” said Jones. He was speaking by phone from West Africa where he is oveseeing the recovery effort following a plane crash over the weekend that killed all of the board of Sundance Resources, an iron ore developer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

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