Rio Tinto is Australia’s Largest Taxpayer

Rio Tinto says it paid $11.6 billion in taxes on a global basis in 2012, with more than three-fourths of that amount, or $8.9
billion, going into various Australian government coffers. Shown here is an aerial view of the company’s Port Lambert iron
ore shipping terminal in Western Australia. (Photo courtesy Rio Tinto)
Rio Tinto has published a report detailing the destinations of the $11.6 billion in taxes it paid around the world in 2012. More than three-fourths of these taxes, $8.9 billion, were paid in Australia to all levels of Australian governments, making Rio Tinto the nation’s largest taxpayer.

Rio Tinto operations in Australia include its massive iron ore operations in Western Australia, where it operates 14 mines, three port facilities and a 1,400-km rail network; coal operations in Queensland and New South Wales; the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory; bauxite, alumina and aluminum operations in Queensland; the Northparkes copper mine in New South Wales; the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia; and salt pro-duction in Western Australia.

The largest share of Rio Tinto’s Australian taxes, $5.25 billion, went to Australian federal corporate income taxes. Government royalties totaled $1.95 billion, with $1.46 billion of this total going to the government of Western Australia. Other taxes, including employ-er and employee payroll taxes, accounted for the remainder of Rio Tinto’s Australian tax bill.

Rio Tinto Australia Managing Director David Peever said, “Rio Tinto is the largest corporate taxpayer in Australia, and the Taxes Paid report highlights the significant financial contribution the company is making at a national and state level across the country.”

Outside of Australia, Canada ($1 bil-lion), the United States ($376 million), Chile ($331 million), Mongolia ($280 million), the United Kingdom ($150 mil-lion), France ($140 million), and South Africa ($130 million) were among the countries where governments received significant tax payments from Rio Tinto during 2012.

Rio Tinto CFO Guy Elliott said, “Rio Tinto makes significant contributions to public finances in all the countries where we are doing business. We believe it is important to disclose this tax information because this level of transparency helps us to retain our license to operate, pro-motes government accountability, and plays a key role in combating corrup-tion…Rio Tinto encourages governments to work together to adopt a global approach that establishes consistent dis-closure requirements and promotes sound tax governance, accountability and transparency.”

As featured in Womp 2013 Vol 04 -