No royalty hike for WA gold miners

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett yesterday ruled out any increases to the state's gold royalty rates.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett yesterday ruled out any increases to the state’s gold royalty rates.

The prospect of increased royalties has riled many of the state’s producers over the last two month, with many claiming it would cause operations to close.

It is now clear that Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore opposed the plan.

“We are not intending to increase the gold royalty in this budget,” the Barnett said.

“As to the long-term future, we will look at all royalties objectively and carefully.”

It is not known whether the rates for iron ore or the other materials will be raised in the budget.

The Premier had flagged the possible increases in late February, claiming the WA mining industry had been undertaxed for too long.

“Suggestions that the sector is under taxed or has not paid its way are simply wrong,” Reg Howard-Smith, chief executive of the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy, said at the time.

“The State recorded revenues from royalties of $3.2 billion from 2008 to 2009, which was an increase of close to $2 billion over the past five years.

“This government runs a real risk of increasing cost imposts on the resources sector to the point of damaging investment decisions.”

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