Sandmining royalties

In a paid advertisement in the Courier Mail in March 2010, the mining company said they pay about $5 million in royalties each year to Queensland.  (See the Unimin advertisement – note the mining company Sibelco was called Unimin at the time of the advertisement’s publication.)

Queensland’s total mining revenue for the year ending 30 June 2010 totalled more than two billion dollars.   The royalties from mining Stradbroke Island account for .25%, or one quarter of one percent, of Queensland’s mining revenue.   (DME’s Qld mining revenue information – see ‘Revenue Statistics’.)

Sandmining at the Enterprise mine is for mineral sands, shown here in the centre of the photo.

Royalties are calculated according to Schedule 4 of the Mineral Resources Regulation 2003.  The rate for mineral sands is just 5% of the value of the concentrate.  The rate for silica, from the Vance mine, is just 90 cents for each tonne.  This means the value of minerals sands which the company takes from Stradbroke each year is about $100 million, of which Queenslanders receive just $5 million.  (See relevant section or download the whole regulation (1405kB) from Qld Government website.)