The mining industry has consistently maintained that 'native title' is a major impediment to mineral exploration and development and that it is a key factor in recent industry trends. Yet there is little evidence to justify these claims. This article suggests that this contradiction is less a reflection of ideological opposition to native title on the part of industry leaders than a case of political posturing aimed at ensuring that government policy better reflects mining interests. Government policy is an investment determinant over which the industry can exert some influence, unlike other determinants such as commodity prices and exchange rates. In addition to the industry's self-interest in pressuring government to circumscribe native title rights by overstating its detrimental economic impact, the peculiar intensity of the campaign is explained by its concerns about its role in the policy process, its popularity in the community and its comparative power as an interest group.