Rio Tinto hits back at 90 day claims

The Observer - - NEWS -

RIO Tinto has shut down claims it was one of the multi­na­tional min­ing com­pa­nies push­ing con­trac­tor pay­ments to 90 days.

The com­pany is­sued a re­sponse to an ar­ti­cle in The Ob­server’s CQIn­dus­try liftout pub­lished on Thurs­day.

Rio Tinto was quoted as one of the min­ing gi­ants caus­ing losses for re­gional busi­nesses by not pay­ing con­trac­tors for their ser­vices for up to three months.

A Mackay busi­ness owner claimed BHP and Rio Tinto were the two main cul­prits, how­ever, Rio Tinto Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor Joanne Farrell said the claims were in­cor­rect.

“In fact, in May last year, Rio Tinto re­duced pay­ment terms for Aus­tralian sup­pli­ers un­der $1 mil­lion of ex­pen­di­ture to 30 days to sup­port im­proved cash­flow for small busi­nesses,” she said.

“Rio Tinto spends hun­dreds of mil­lions of dollars pur­chas­ing goods and ser­vices from small busi­nesses across Aus­tralia ev­ery year.

“Our pro­cure­ment spend­ing is vi­tal to many small busi­nesses and we un­der­stand that lengthy pay­ment terms can cre­ate cash­flow pres­sure for small-to-medium sized firms.”

Glad­stone En­gi­neer­ing Al­liance’s Kieran Mo­ran said there was about $4 mil­lion in un­paid work owed to Glad­stone con­trac­tors.

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