Australia's minority government won support from two key independents for its controversial 30 percent tax on iron ore and coal mines on Monday, meaning the laws should have the numbers to pass through parliament.

Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott said they would support the mining tax laws in a vote in return for government guarantees to protect the environment against coal seam gas exploration and safeguard rural water resources.

The mining tax is due to start on July 1, 2012, and is a key part of the government's plan to return its budget to surplus, as well as pay for a company tax break.

(Reporting by James Grubel)