Metals royalty rules to be reset

STATE Cabinet has endorsed recommendations designed to eliminate inequities in the base metals royalty system.

Mines Minister Norman Moore said the changes would not affect the current nickel royalty system and were not due to come into effect for five years.

He also said the changes would not bring in any additional royalty revenue during this period. In fact, some companies will pay lower royalties.

Mr Moore said the recommendations followed a wide-ranging review of the base metal royalty system that found the single rate system distorted competition and did not provide an incentive for base metal producers to value-add.

Under the changes, the current nickel royalty system – which sets a royalty payment of 2.5 per cent of the value of metal ‘contained’ in the product – will be extended to coproducts and byproducts of the nickel industry with the exception of gold, silver and platinum group metals.

Copper, lead, zinc and cobalt production, other than as a coproduct or byproduct of the nickel industry, will be subject to the current royalty system with 5 per cent applying to the value of concentrates and 2.5 per cent applying to the value of metals.

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