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On 50% higher gold royalties

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Media, Mineral Economics, Mineral Policy, Publications


Continuing our catch up on last year’s Strictly Boardroom articles in September we looked at the proposed gold mine royalty increase by the Western Australian government. Whilst, obviously the local gold industry was not happy, and in the end lobbied successfully for the proposal to be dropped, we (alongside gold expert Sam Ulrich) thought the proposal a good opportunity for a wider discussion on the purpose of minerals policy and the duties of the minerals industry to society.

In Western Australia, the issue is that government finances are poor and need resolving and the mining industry is one of the few profitable industries with taxable revenues that could help resolve this issue – the government previously considered taxing iron ore more, before gold, and though both industries fought off the proposed legislation, it seems likely that this is just a temporary easement – the government’s poor finances remain unresolved. Maybe it is time for some constructive dialogue between the parties? Who should pay, who cannot etc.? For a start, taxing the marginally (and sometimes not) profitable, and in comparison to the government debt, relatively small Western Australia gold industry is probably not the place to start.

The article was entitled  “On 50% higher gold royalties: ‘Come on referee!’” and is available to subscribers on, or contact me.

For keen followers of the Strictly Boardroom column, our book “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom Volume II: A Practitioners Guide for Next Generation Directors” was published last year and is available as a paperback or e-book from Major Street Publishing or Amazon. We’re pleased to say that the book received a very positive review in the AusIMM Bulletin and in Geoscientist magazine – the members publication of the Geological Society of London.