Rio Tinto plc

+ How can I buy or sell shares?

Investors normally use a stockbroker, bank or building society or a "share shop" that offers a similar service. The commissions charged for buying and selling shares vary between the different organisations.

The Rio Tinto Low Cost Dealing Service is a telephone service provided by Stocktrade for the sale and purchases of shares in Rio Tinto plc. (Telephone 0845 840 1532 for calls within the UK, or +44 (0)131 240 0101 for calls originating outside the UK)

Commission: 0.5 per cent to £10,000 then 0.2 per cent thereafter (subject to a £15 minimum commission charge).

Settlement: Cleared funds, net of all costs can be credited directly into your bank account ten business days after the sale date, if you can provide bank account details, ie the sort code and account number.

An extra charge of £3 will be made if you require payment by cheque.

Stocktrade is a division of Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. It is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the London Stock Exchange.

Corporate Nominee Service: Computershare, in conjunction with Rio Tinto plc, has introduced a corporate nominee service for private individuals. This service allows shareholders to hold, sell or purchase Rio Tinto plc shares electronically. Further information can be obtained from Computershare.

+ Where can I find the current share price?

It is shown in most UK newspapers usually under "Mining". If there are two Rio Tinto companies shown, one of these will be Rio Tinto Limited, the Australian company. The letters A$ may also appear after the name. Share prices are often quoted alongside a unique code known as a stock exchange ticker. The London Stock Exchange ticker for Rio Tinto plc is RIO.L and the Australian Securities Exchange ticker for Rio Tinto Limited is RIO.AX.

In addition, information on the recent movements in the share price is available from the Rio Tinto website.

+ Where can I find information about historical share prices?

Information about historical Rio Tinto share prices is available on the Share price and tools page.

+ What are dividends?

The dividend is the amount that directors of a company propose to pay out of the profits to its shareholders. Dividends can be thought of as the income that shareholders receive from their investment. Dividends are quoted on a per share basis.

+ Rio Tinto has a progressive dividend policy. What does this mean for shareholders?

The aim of our progressive dividend policy is to increase the US dollar value of dividends per share over time. The rate of the total dividend, in US dollars per share, is determined taking into account the results for the past year and the outlook.

Under our progressive dividend policy, the total dividend for each year should be equal to or greater than the total dividend for the previous year. The interim dividend is set at one half of the total dividend for the previous year.

+ When are dividends paid?

We pay dividends twice a year, as an "interim dividend" and a "final dividend". When the financial results for the half year and full year are announced, the level of dividend to be paid to shareholders is also announced. The dividend is usually paid in April and September and is paid to everyone who holds shares on the "record date". Upcoming record dates can be found in the financial calendar. The dividend is determined in US$ but is declared by the directors in sterling at the exchange rate prevailing two days before the results are announced.

+ How can I have my dividends paid directly into my bank account?

Go to Investor Centre and register your email address. Investor Centre is Rio Tinto's secure shareholder self-service website. It's available 24 hours a day and is free to all Rio Tinto shareholders. By going online, you can update your payment instructions, amend your address, check share balances, and also check payment and tax information.

If you elect to receive your Rio Tinto plc dividend in Australian dollars you can receive your payment by cheque only.

+ What is the "ex-dividend" date?

The ex-dividend date is a specific date, occurring after the dividend has been declared after which buyers are no longer entitled to receive the last declared dividend. This is known as going "ex-dividend" and before this date the shares are said to be "cum-dividend". If you buy shares before the ex-dividend date, you are entitled to the recently announced dividend. If you purchase shares on or after that date, the previous owner of the shares (and not you) is entitled to the dividend. The ex-dividend date for the latest dividend can be found in the financial calendar.

+ What is the dividend "record date"?

This is the date the registrars view the register to prepare the dividend payment. A shareholding must be recorded on the register on this date to receive the dividend. The record date normally falls about three weeks before the dividend is paid. The record date for the latest dividend can be found in the financial calendar.

+ In what currency are Rio Tinto dividends paid?

The US dollar, in which the majority of sales are made, most reliably records the Group's global business performance and is our main reporting currency. It is, therefore, the natural currency in which to determine dividends.

Dividends determined in US dollars are converted at exchange rates applicable two days prior to the announcement of dividends and then declared and paid in pounds sterling for Rio Tinto plc and in Australian dollars for Rio Tinto Limited.

+ Can I elect to receive my dividends in currencies other than my local currency?

Shareholders on Rio Tinto plc's share register will receive their dividends in pounds sterling unless they make an election to receive them in Australian dollars. The dividend amounts received will be calculated by converting the declared dividend using the exchange rates applicable to Australian dollars five days prior to the dividend payment date.

Should shareholders wish to receive their dividends in Australian dollars, or to cancel a current Australian dollar election, they may do so electronically via Investor Centre. Shareholders may register by clicking on "Register" and obtaining an activation code. This will be sent to you by post. Once registered, the currency election may be changed by selecting "Dividend Plans". Alternatively shareholders may obtain a currency election form from our registrars, Computershare Investor Services PLC, on 0800 435 021 (UK shareholders) or +44 (0)870 703 6364 (overseas shareholders).

Computershare Investor Services PLC offers payment services in other currencies which are subject to a fee. Please contact Computershare for further details on 0800 435 021 (UK shareholders) or +44 (0)870 703 6364 (overseas shareholders).

If you elect to receive your Rio Tinto plc dividend in Australian dollars you can receive your payment by cheque only.

+ Does Rio Tinto have a Dividend Reinvestment Plan?

A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) is available to give shareholders the opportunity to elect for their cash dividend to be used to purchase Rio Tinto ordinary shares in the market. A commission charge of 0.5 per cent of the value of the shares purchased will be charged. Purchases will also be liable to stamp duty at a rate of 0.5 per cent of the value of the shares purchased. As the shares will be purchased in the market, there will be no increase in the Company's issued share capital.

The plan is administered by Computershare Investor Services PLC which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 

Download the Dividend Reinvestment Plan brochure

Download the Dividend Reinvestment Plan application form

+ Do I have to pay tax on my dividends?

Your tax obligations will vary depending on your financial circumstances. Further information about the taxation of dividends is provided in the Shareholder information section of our Annual report. Please note that this information is provided for guidance only. We recommend you obtain independent financial advice.

+ How do I obtain a paper copy of shareholder documents?

Paper copies of all shareholder documents can be obtained free of charge by contacting the registrar.

+ How can I have a change of address noted on the share register?

Go to Investor Centre and register your email address. Investor Centre is Rio Tinto's secure shareholder self-service website. It's available 24 hours a day and is free to all Rio Tinto shareholders. By going online, you can amend your address, check share balances, check payment and tax information and also update payment instructions.

+ How can I have a change of name noted on the share register?

First, download a change of name form. Once completed, this form should be sent to Computershare Investor Services PLC at the address given on the form, together with your share certificate and a copy of the relevant document (eg marriage certificate).

+ How can I transfer shares to another member of my family, or any other person?

Please download a Standard Transfer form and send it to Computershare.

Stamp duty may be payable on the transfer. You should refer to the guidance notes on the transfer form for more information.

+ How can I replace my lost or missing certificate?

You should write to Computershare telling them you have mislaid your certificate. They will send you a letter of indemnity to sign and return to them. The indemnity provides you with cover for any loss arising from a dispute over ownership of the missing shares. An administration fee is usually charged for this service.

If the value of the shareholding represented by the lost or misplaced share certificate is more than £100, the indemnity must be countersigned by a bank or insurance company, which may also charge a fee. Alternatively Computershare offers a countersignature service where the value of the shareholding is between £100 and £50,000 upon the payment of an insurance premium. A sliding scale of charges applies, depending on the value of the lost certificate to reflect the greater risk to the insurer.

If the value of the shareholding is greater than £50,000, the broker Robert Dowle Ltd of 1-3 Norton Folgate, Aldgate, London E1 6DB (tel 020 7426 5330) may provide a countersignature service for a fee.

Please check to ensure that the certificate has been lost before informing Computershare in order to avoid incurring any fees (as outlined above).

To request an indemnity please contact Computershare advising them of your full name, address, the company in which you hold shares, the certificate number and amount of any share certificate(s) still in your possession.

+ I am receiving multiple copies of shareholder circulars. How can I stop this?

This is probably because Computershare is holding two (or more) accounts for you on the share register. If you would like to have the accounts combined you should write to Computershare, enclosing your share certificates and asking them to merge the accounts into one. There is no charge for doing this.

+ Can I receive shareholder documents electronically?

Yes. To register to receive the Company's shareholder publications electronically by email you need to register your email address with Computershare. For more information on electronic shareholder communications and to register your email address with Computershare, see the eTree scheme.

Shareholders who choose to receive electronic copies can change their election at any time by contacting Computershare.

+ Can I consolidate my share certificates?

Yes, if your certificated holding in Rio Tinto plc is represented by several share certificates you may wish to have these replaced by one consolidated share certificate. There is no charge for this service. You should send your certificates with a letter of instruction to Computershare.

+ What happens if a shareholder dies?

Please advise Computershare in writing as soon as possible and they will explain what has to be done.

+ I have Rio Tinto plc shares. Can I exchange them for Rio Tinto Limited shares?

Whilst unified under a dual listed companies structure, Rio Tinto Limited and Rio Tinto plc remain separate legal entities. As Rio Tinto Limited and Rio Tinto plc have separate share registers, there is no facility to transfer shares between the companies. If a shareholder in Rio Tinto plc wanted their shares to be part of the Rio Tinto Limited register, they would have to sell their Rio Tinto plc shares and purchase Rio Tinto Limited shares.

+ Can I view details of my Rio Tinto shareholding online?

You can view details of all your holdings for companies registered with Computershare online through Computershare's Investor Centre, as soon as you register with Computershare.

Once you have registered you will be able to view all your holdings and update your details online.

+ I am receiving multiple copies of shareholder circulars. How can I stop this?

If you receive more than one copy of company information, it is because Computershare is holding two or more accounts for you on the share register. If you would like to have the accounts combined into one, you should contact Computershare for a form to request consolidation of your holdings. You can download a Request to Consolidate Holdings form from Computershare's website. There is no charge for doing this.

+ Are my share certificates issued by The RTZ Corporation PLC still valid?

Yes. Share certificates in the name of The RTZ Corporation PLC remain valid and now apply to shares in Rio Tinto plc. When the Company changed its name in June 1997 it did not issue replacement certificates. If you would like your existing share certificates in the name of The RTZ Corporation PLC to be replaced, please contact Computershare.

+ Are my share certificates issued by Alcan Inc still valid?

Rio Tinto has engaged Georgeson Shareholder Communications Canada Inc. ("Georgeson") to undertake an Asset Reunification Program that includes contacting former Alcan Inc. shareholders who have not surrendered their shares. Former Alcan Inc. shareholders are not required to participate in this programme with Georgeson and can communicate directly with the transfer agent, Computershare Investor Services Inc.

+ Are bearer shares still valid?

All outstanding share warrants to bearer have been converted into registered ordinary shares under the terms of a Scheme of Arrangement sanctioned by the Court on 30 April 2001. Holders of any outstanding share warrants to bearer should complete an application form and email it to Company Secretarial department in order to obtain their rights to registered ordinary shares.

+ Have preference shares been cancelled?

"A" and "B" preference shares were cancelled and repaid on 30 June 1999 and share certificates are no longer valid. If you are still holding share warrants to bearer for "B" preference shares please contact the Company Secretarial department at Rio Tinto for further information.

+ What is CREST?

CREST is an electronic system for settling the sale and purchase of shares. Membership is voluntary and it is typically used by institutions, and by individual investors who have a large share portfolio or who buy and sell shares frequently. CREST enables shareholders to hold and transfer their shareholdings in electronic form rather than using paper. For further information on CREST, please write to CRESTCo Limited, Trinity Tower, 9 Thomas More Street, London E1 9YN.