Rio chief calls for disclosure on tax bill

Rio Tinto has called on businesses to be more transparent about their tax affairs after the global miner paid almost $9 billion in taxes in Australia last year.

Rio Tinto has called on businesses to be more transparent about their tax affairs after the global miner paid almost $9 billion in taxes in Australia last year.

Rio's latest tax-paid report for last year shows the company paid $11.6 billion in taxes globally, including $8.9 billion in Australia.

"We are fully supportive of the efforts to spread this kind of good practice more broadly," chief executive Sam Walsh told a pre-G8 summit in Britain on Saturday.

"This should be pursued in a sensible way, with a clear and consistent global standard for extractive industry tax reporting that keeps the focus on fighting corruption and the burden on business manageable."

He added that governments needed to take further steps to encourage growth in the developing world and to tackle poverty.

In addition, Rio said early estimates indicated the company's Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine in Mongolia would have a phenomenal impact on the Mongolian economy, increasing the country's gross domestic product by a third and affecting the exchange rate.

"When fully operational, it will be one of the world's top five copper producers and also a significant producer of gold," the company said.

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