Rio Tinto's operations generated more than A$42 billion for Australian economy

29 October 2018

Rio Tinto's operations across Australia generated more than A$42 billion (US$34.3 billion) for the nation's economy in 2017, a new report reveals.

The comprehensive economic analysis measures Rio Tinto's total contribution to Australia's economy, revealing how additional jobs created and goods and services purchased from suppliers have a flow-on effect that benefits Australians.

ACIL Allen Consulting undertook the assessment that details for the first how Rio Tinto's operations help to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians, in every state and territory.

The Rio Tinto Australian Economic Contribution report found Rio Tinto:

  • CONTRIBUTED A$42.7 billion to the Gross Domestic Product of Australia in 2017, equal to 2.5 per cent of the nation’s GDP or larger than the contribution of the whole State of Tasmania;
  • INCREASED the real incomes of people living in Australia by $10.5 billion. On average this is the equivalent of an extra A$1166 for Australia’s nine million households;
  • EMPLOYED more than 21,000 people directly;
  • CREATED more than 90,000 additional full-time jobs through supply chains;
  • PAID more than A$3 billion direct to employees;
  • INVESTED A$27.5 million in the Australian community through financial contributions, complemented by goods, services and man hours to support community organisations.

Rio Tinto Australia managing director Joanne Farrell said "The prosperity of both Rio Tinto and Australia have been linked for 113 years and this report demonstrates for the first time the direct and indirect contribution Rio Tinto makes across the nation, not just near our operations.

"We are proud of the A$42 billion we generated for Australia in 2017 and how our investments create well-paid jobs, both directly at our sites and offices and indirectly with our suppliers, supporting the prosperity and development of our communities. We have achieved this while also creating significant value for our shareholders and delivering sector-leading returns.

"With our investments this year in iron ore in Western Australia and bauxite in Queensland we look forward to continuing to make a positive contribution for decades to come, including spending hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing goods and services from small businesses across the country."

ACIL Allen Consulting Principal Consultant Antonia Hodby said "Changes in real income are important as they provide an indication of the change in economic welfare of residents through their ability to purchase goods and services. Rio Tinto operations added A$10.5 billion to the real incomes of people living in Australia in 2017. A rise in real income indicates a rise in the capacity for current consumption, but also an increased ability to accumulate wealth in the form of financial and other assets."

Australia is home to around half of Rio Tinto's global assets, with more than 30 operating sites and processing plants in iron ore, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, uranium, diamonds and salt. Rio Tinto also has offices in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.