Contract disclosure

Contract disclosure

We believe that greater transparency and accountability helps build trust and credibility with our host communities, governments and other stakeholders.

One way we do this is by making our mineral development contracts with governments publicly available, where we are able to do so without breaching confidentiality agreements. We also actively encourage governments we work with to allow us to disclose these contracts.

By disclosing our contracts we can contribute to the responsible management of natural resources and help prevent corruption. This builds on our other transparency work as founding member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and a signatory to the B-team's Tax Principles.

Projects covered by these contracts are significant for both parties. The host governments and their citizens are granting access to non-renewable resources and receiving significant financial and non-financial benefits in return, and Rio Tinto is making significant financial investments to develop the project.

Contracts give certainty to both parties and guides expectations as to how we will work together during the life of a mining project.

Our contracts

While some of our contracts are already publicly available, we wanted to provide a central, easily accessible list for people to view.

This table includes an initial disclosure of our contracts with governments relating to mineral development. We will continue to add to this over time.

We have disclosed contracts relating to large, well-progressed projects which justify having specific contracting arrangements. Not included are contracts with a minimal or indirect connection to mineral development and licences and legislation which apply across companies and projects.

We welcome feedback about our initial disclosure to sustainability@riotinto.com.

What do these contracts say?

The contracts are legal documents which can be long and complex to read.

They set out commitments we have made with host governments, including some of the rights and obligations associated with a project. However they apply alongside other local and international laws, as well as other contracts that the parties may have entered into in relation to the project. This could include contracts with native title holders and local communities, joint venture partners, suppliers, financiers or other parties.

All projects are different, and all governments have different mining laws and contracting practices, which means that not all of these contracts cover the same matters. However, these contracts often set out the core exploration and mining rights that a government is granting to Rio Tinto. This includes:

  • where we are allowed to explore for and/or mine
  • what minerals, and how long we're allowed to explore and/or mine them
  • how we are required to leave the area when our exploration or mining activities are finished

The contracts may grant Rio Tinto rights such as rail or port access, or rights and obligations to build such infrastructure. For some projects, they address the taxation arrangements applicable to the project and clarify how laws relating to the environment or community contributions apply. They may also set out requirements for ownership of the interests or for transfers of ownership, as well as cover matters such as how the parties will resolve any disputes.

View table of contracts

Read Rio Tinto's transparency statement