Rio Tinto wins plaudits for transparencyJune 2009
Mining multinational Rio Tinto has become the subject of rare praise by a transparency organization for its voluntary disclosure of tax and royalty payments made to 13 of the countries where it operates.
Publish What You Pay, a global civil society coalition, has said that Rio Tinto ‘has taken an important step towards transparency’. The company has listed its payments, totalling more than $10million (£6.6m), in its 2008 annual report. In its previous annual report, Rio Tinto disclosed this data only by continent.
Radhika Sarin, international co-ordinator of Publish What You Pay, said: ‘We welcome this progressive step, which shows recognition that more openness serves the enlightened self-interest of big corporations.
But he added: ‘We would encourage Rio Tinto to go further next year and break down the different types of payments to each country, so that citizens of these countries can have a full picture of financial transfers to their governments by the company.’
Rio Tinto joins a small number of large oil and mining companies, such as Norway’s StatoilHydro, Canada’s Talisman Energy and the US-based Newmont Mining Corporation, that disclose information about revenue payments to governments on a per-country basis.
The US Senate may vote soon on the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act, which would require companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to publish what they pay every government for oil, gas and minerals. The measure was introduced to Congress last year.
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