Wednesday, 25 March 2015
A REVIEW from the Western Australian government has recommended boosting gold royalties from 2.5% to 3.75%, but mines minister Bill Marmion says there won’t be any changes in this year’s budget.
Marmion’s comments have been welcomed by the gold sector, which has spent months lobbying against a possible royalty hike.
In a statement this afternoon Marmion noted the review’s recommendations but said there was no plan to make an immediate change to the state’s royalty system.
“I can assure WA industries and communities that, should there be any future discussion of mineral royalties, the Liberal National Government remains totally committed to consultation over the issue,” he said.
Gold Royalties Response Group spokesperson and Doray Minerals Managing Director Allan Kelly praised the minister’s comments.
“We are delighted that Minister Marmion has taken this issue off the table,” he said.
“On behalf of the 20,000 men and women who work in the gold industry we say thank you.”
Kelly said the royalty rate analysis had taken three years to finish, and its completion coincided with particularly tough times for the industry.
He said the government’s commitment not to change royalties would be a much-needed confidence and certainty boost for the local gold sector.
“We pay our fair share of taxes and royalties and our industry already contributes more than $A8 billion to the state’s economy each and every year,” he said.
The suggestions for changes to the gold sector were part of a wider suite of recommendations for the state’s mining industry.
Other recommendations included cutting the 7.5% rate for diamonds to 5% and reducing the 5% rate for uranium to 3.75%.
The report also made recommendations covering coal, lithium, alumina, salt, silicon and vanadium products and made broader comments on the royalty system.