Royalty review met positively by mining industry

The Western Australian Government’s plan to take a consultative approach to assessing the mining royalty system has been welcomed by the state’s mining industry.

The government today revealed the terms of reference and a stakeholder consultation paper for the Mineral Royalty Rate Analysis today. The industry and others who are interested can make submissions until October 31.

The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy embraced the move, with chief executive Reg Howard-Smith pointing out royalty income from the industry comprises of 21 per cent of government revenue.

Mineral and petroleum royalties amounted to $5.1 billion in 2012 for WA, The West Australian reported.

It was only five per cent in 2003-04.

It is predicted iron ore royalties will generate $5.2 billion this financial year and this is set to climb to $6.1 billion in 2016-17.

The CME said it would be a firm industry representative to the Industry Reference Group, which also comprises of senior representatives from the Department of State Development and Department of Mines and Petroleum.

“CME looks forward to working with the State Government to ensure that industry’s views are taken into account and that WA’s resources sector remains internationally competitive, ensuring the continuing wealth of our state and the national economy,” Howard-Smith said.

Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett said the review was to make sure the state’s minerals royalties ran smoothly and fairly for the mining industry and the state.

“It is important that royalty rates deliver a reasonable return to the community without discouraging production or acting as a disincentive to new investment,” he said.

“Royalties are vital to the State’s ability to provide the services and infrastructure West Australians expect.”

Miners in WA recently asked the government to exclude gold in the royalty review and asked for a “royalty holiday” until the burgeoning costs come under control.

It came as gold’s price plummeted and production costs increased.

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