Rio Tinto's taxes and royalties jump $4.9bn in 2021

Rio Tinto's 2021 'Taxes paid: Our economic contribution report' details $13.3bn of global taxes and royalties paid during the year, up from $8.4bn in 2020

Rio Tinto's 2021 Taxes paid: Our economic contribution report details $13.3bn of global taxes and royalties paid during the year, up from $8.4bn in 2020.

Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, Rio Tinto made a total direct economic contribution of $66.6bn in the countries and communities where it operates in 2021, compared to $47bn the previous year.

In Australia, home to around half of the company’s assets, Rio Tinto paid $11.1bn (A$14.8bn) in taxes and royalties, up from $6.8bn (A$9.8bn) the previous year. The company also made significant payments in Canada ($855mn), South America ($584mn), Mongolia ($544mn), Chile ($562mn) and the United States ($81mn). Total taxes and royalties paid in Africa in 2021 totalled $55mn, with $25mn paid in South Africa. 

Rio Tinto Chief Financial Officer Peter Cunningham said: “We acknowledge the support of our host governments and communities in helping us keep our sites operating at a time when many other industries were heavily constrained. This enabled us to protect jobs, support local businesses, and produce record financial results. It also resulted in us paying substantial taxes and royalties to the governments where we operate.

“Our economic contribution to governments and communities plays a critical role in the economic health and development of the regions where we operate. The funds governments and communities receive support the basic infrastructure of society – bridges and roads, schools and hospitals – as well as other local development priorities, including job creation and skills training.”

In the past 10 years, the company has paid $73.9bn in taxes and royalties globally, of which over 78%, or $58bn (A$72.8bn), was paid in Australia.

Since 2017, Rio Tinto has made a direct economic contribution of more than $251bn to the countries and communities where it operates.

Rio Tinto recently made a full ownership offer for Turquoise Hill in a bid to break the impasse with the Oyu Tolgoi copper project (click here).

The all-cash proposal to buy the remaining 49% stake represents an investment of US$2.7bn, and would increase its overall interest in Oyu Tolgoi to 66%, with the balance held by Mongolia.

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