UPDATE 2.45pm: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has laid out a coalition government's plan for the resources sector while mocking the government's controversial mining tax as an act of "economic self-harm".
Mr Abbott told a Minerals Council of Australia conference that Labor had inflicted an increasingly burdensome regime of tax and regulation upon the mining sector.
"What political genius could come up with a tax which raises virtually no revenue,” Mr Abbott said in Canberra.
"It costs tens of millions (of dollars) to administer even when it is actually not being paid and which damages investment and jobs in our country.”
The 30 per cent minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) on the super profits of iron ore and coal producers was expected to raise billions.
But it is now forecast to raise just $200 million in its first year.
Having dealt with Labor, Mr Abbott then reiterated his pledge to abolish the MRRT should the coalition win the election on September 14, along with the carbon tax.
The coalition would also restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, take workplace laws back to the sensible centre, while substantially reducing red and green tape by introducing a “one stop shop” for environmental approvals.
"You should only have to run the gauntlet once, you should not have to run the gauntlet again and again and again,” he said.
It would also closely work with the mining sector through a resource advisory council that would meet regularly with senior ministers.
Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani earlier told the conference there was a disconnect between the industry and its political leaders because they “didn't understand or didn't care".
"While I can forgive ignorance, I cannot forgive the class warfare tactics used to split communities as the facts were lost in a sea of rhetoric focussed on a few high profile individuals,” he said.
"That's not the Australian way."
But Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray said he was confident Australia would remain a major supplier of metal and minerals commodities, especially to south east Asia.
"On the demand side the long term fundamentals remain unchanged,” the minister said.
China, Japan, South Korea and India would remain big consumers of commodities, he said, with demand in China alone expected to be the equivalent of building eight Chicagos and eight New Yorks over the next 30 to 40 years.
MCA chairman Peter Johnston said the industry must resist compounding the negative sentiment being generated by the end of the mining investment boom, lest it put an artificial brake on investment.
"Confidence is a fragile thing,” Mr Johnston said.