Fortescue Metals Group gets knod to challenge mining tax

A BITTER fight over the Federal Government's mining tax could begin as early as March after a High Court decision gave the nod to a constitutional challenge from Fortescue Metals Group.

The state governments of Queensland and Western Australia will intervene in the challenge, presenting their own arguments against the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

Lawyers for Fortescue were asked to present their arguments before the challenge would be considered.

On Monday, Chief Justice Robert French reportedly agreed the case would be heard by a full bench.

Although no date has been listed, it could run as early as March.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has previously said the fight would cost the state up to $300,000 but it was a price worth paying.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has said any attack on the MRRT would be "futile", a position backed by Queensland University of Technology expert Josh Pyke.

Since the case was announced by Fortescue in June, Mr Swan has repeatedly come under attack as the tax revenue fell in line with crumbling commodity prices.

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