Min­ing needs ‘funds re­think’

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Wil­liams

Rio Tinto chief ex­ec­u­tive JeanSe­bas­tian Jac­ques has floated the idea of com­mu­ni­ties and gov­ern­ments help­ing to pay for a min­ing project in ex­change for a big­ger slice of the in­come.

In a key­note speech to a min­ing con­fer­ence in Mel­bourne to­day, Mr Jac­ques will call for a de­bate on the trade-off be­tween profit and risk-tak­ing.

“If a com­mu­nity or gov­ern­ment wants a big­ger share of the pie, they may need to be will­ing to take on more of the risk, that’s a re­ally im­por­tant part of our very cap­i­tal- in­ten­sive in­dus­try,” he says.

“So, maybe there needs to be a new way of fund­ing min­ing projects.

“As an in­dus­try, per­haps, it is time to think about a dif­fer­ent busi­ness model — where we pro­vide min­ing as a ser­vice and let other peo­ple fi­nance projects that need bil­lions in up­front in­vest­ment, be­fore the ben­e­fits can be shared.”

Mr Jac­ques says Rio Tinto would like to work with part­ners such as the World Bank and Har­vard Univer­sity on how best to share value from projects.

He will also talk of a need to change the bar­be­cue con­ver­sa­tion about min­ing, say­ing, for ex­am­ple, its por­trayal in the Avatar movie made him “sad — or de­pend­ing on the day — mad”.

“The world needs us and it is about time we stopped punch­ing be­low our weight.”

The theme of his speech to the IMARC Con­fer­ence is a need for the in­dus­try to rein­vent it­self.

The world needs us and it is about time we stopped punch­ing be­low our weight. Jean-Se­bas­tian Jac­ques

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