The mining sector is enjoying its most profitable period since the industry's investment boom, providing a bigger tax coffer for Treasurer Scott Morrison as he puts his third budget together.
An analysis by Deloitte Access Economics for the Minerals Council of Australia found Australian mining companies paid $12.1 billion tax in 2016/17, almost four times as much as the previous financial year and the highest since the mining investment boom in 2011/12.
"This means that mining companies are estimated to have paid one in every five dollars of Australia's company tax take," the council's interim chief executive David Byers said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mining companies also paid $11.2 billion in royalties in 2016/17 to the states.
The increase in mining company profits and tax payments has been driven by stronger commodity prices, reversing the fall between 2012 and 2015.
Miners are also providing a strong dividend to the states through royalties - which are based on production - and follow a significant investment in new production over recent years.
"A successful Australian mining sector means a stronger Australian economy," Mr Byers said.
"The $23.1 billion paid by mining companies in company tax and royalties in 2016/17 is almost as much as the federal government spent on schools and road and rail infrastructure in the same period."