Leaked Proof Gold Jobs At Risk From Royalty Cash Grab

A leaked memo from a Goldfields gold producer employing 160 men and women in the Kalgoorlie region has revealed the true cost the gold royalty hike will have on marginal miners. The memo dispels Treasurer Ben Wyatt’s claim the sector is making a $440-per-ounce profit and should have no difficulty absorbing this extra tax hit.

Gold miner Silver Lake Resources has told its staff its margin is less than $80/oz, and will shrink to about $56/oz if the Government’s gold royalty grab is implemented. It would put Silver Lake on the marginal miners’ list, likely cut short its mines’ operating lives and throw into doubt the workforce’s employment prospects.

Silver Lake’s dire warning to staff follows confirmation from Newcrest during the week about the already marginal profitability of its Telfer mine in the Pilbara. Telfer’s $8m profit last year would be wiped out by the gold royalty hike, rendering Telfer a breakeven-only operation and throwing into doubt the future of almost 2000 men and women workers who FIFO from Perth and regional areas around WA.

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Marielle Azzopardi