A campaign is on in Western Australia urging prospectors not to get complacent on safety, as simple mistakes can turn quickly into real complications.

Safety authorities want to save lives with their new campaign, as twenty-two prospectors have gone missing in the last two and a half years.

A number have died despite many years of prospecting and outback experience.

WA Mines Minister Bill Marmion says that with over 3,000 miners' licenses issued this year alone, the chances of someone going missing increases.

He says preparation is the key.

“We've had 22 prospectors go missing in the past two and a half years,” Mr Marmion said.

“Last year we had about 12 cases and one prospector who went missing did have a personal locater beacon on them and we found them within about four hours.

“They're very small, they can fit in your pocket and even if you're getting out of your car, put it in your pocket as you go out.

“It's almost like wearing a seatbelt in a car but it's your seatbelt when you're not in your car,” Marmion said.

The cooler winter weather makes now a great time for prospecting, and the mines minister says personal locator beacons (PLB), EPIRBs and other GPS options must remain a fundamental part of any trip.