Rio Tinto’s 2023 Australian tax and royalties bill reaches $A10b

Simone Grogan
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Rio’s chief financial officer Peter Cunningham said the company was “committed to being a leader on transparent tax reporting”.
Rio’s chief financial officer Peter Cunningham said the company was “committed to being a leader on transparent tax reporting”. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Iron ore major Rio Tinto paid $US6.6b ($A10b) in Australian taxes and royalties for 2023, affirming its proclaimed spot as one of the biggest taxpayers in the country.

The miner — which derives the bulk of its income from iron ore operations in WA — paid $US2.2b in overall taxes and royalties to the State Government compared to a $US2.1b payment for 2022, per a report for 2023 released on Thursday.

Rio paid $US8.5b in taxes and royalties globally with $US6.6b of that paid in Australia. The mining giant forked out about $US4.1b in corporate tax to the Australian Tax Office.

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Rio’s chief financial officer Peter Cunningham said the company was “committed to being a leader on transparent tax reporting”.

“The taxes and royalties we pay play an important role in economic and social development, and can be significant for national budgets and local development priorities such as job creation and skills training.

“It is important to us that we make this contribution openly and transparently, as part of our responsibility to extract value from the minerals and materials we produce in the safest and most sustainable way possible,” he said.

He also affirmed that Rio was one of the biggest taxpayers in the country and said the company had paid A$81.7b in Australian taxes and royalties in the past 10 years.

Australia represents nearly half of Rio’s global business and employs about 24,369 people.

During the period Rio said it had spent A$727m with Indigenous-owned suppliers, 29 per cent more than in the previous year. Rio’s engagement with Traditional Owners has been subject to intense scrutiny since the company destroyed sacred rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in 2020.

In late 2023 Rio signed a memorandum of understanding with the Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation — an Indigenous group based in the Pilbara — to work through opportunities for new renewable energy projects.

Overall spend with abut Australian 5,800 businesses was $A16.1b, a 5.2 per cent increase on the prior year.

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