Silver Lake Resources managing director Les Davis is driving the campaign against higher gold royalties. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian.
Silver Lake Resources managing director Les Davis is driving the campaign against higher gold royalties. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian.

The resources industry has launched its biggest anti-tax campaign since the fight against Kevin Rudd's mining super profits tax.

The Heart of Gold campaign, launched at Diggers & Dealers this morning, will be backed by a multi-million dollar advertising blitz to highlight the industry's contribution to WA.

Silver Lake Resources managing director Les Davis, who is a spokesman for the Gold Royalties Response Group, said an increase in the State's gold royalty rate would have a devastating effect on the broader community.

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"Our mines are at the heart of many regional communities across the State and our employees live and work in region," Mr Davis said.

"Our State's history is synonymous with gold and we want to ensure the industry is here for many years to come."

The campaign is backed by 10 companies with gold mines in WA, including Norton Gold Fields which employs about 500 workers 45km north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Mr Davis said talks were underway to also enlist the support of the biggest miners, Newmont, Newcrest and Barrick Gold, while the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, which was heavily involved in the anti-MRRT campaign, is also on board.

Former WA Mines Minister Norman Moore is also involved.

The WA Government has launched a review of minerals royalties as a way of securing more annual funding for its budget, but already ruled out hiking the iron ore rate.

It has prompted deep concerns in the gold industry that the 2.5 per cent royalty on the value of gold sold will be increased to 5 per cent.

Premier Colin Barnett is yet to comment on the royalty debate.

The West Australian

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