MONTREAL, June 13 The chief executive of
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto , which owns
iron ore, diamond and aluminum mines and processing facilities
in Canada, said on Tuesday that it was becoming tougher to do
business in the resource-rich country.
"You know mining well and you understand its value, but to
be very frank it has been getting harder to do business here
over the years - from employee relations to tax to managing land
access," Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in prepared
remarks to be delivered at the International Economic Forum of
the Americas in Montreal. Jacques did not elaborate on his
Calling it the "biggest mining and metals company in
Canada," Jacques said Rio Tinto had paid C$3.9 billion ($2.93
billion) in Canadian taxes since 2011 while investing more than
Rio Tinto employs around 15,000 people in Canada at more
than 35 sites, including the Iron Ore Company of Canada in
Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, the Diavik diamond mine in
the Northwest Territories and an aluminum smelter in British
A Quebec court ruled in 2014 that a C$900 million lawsuit by
two Canadian aboriginal communities against a subsidiary of Rio
Tinto can proceed. The communities in eastern Canada have said
that more than 50 years of iron ore mining in the region has
disrupted their traditional way of life.
Jacques said that investment and growth drove wealth
generation, which in turn created higher living standards. Fair
trade was also key, he said.
"The danger in the current climate is that we focus on
wealth distribution and not wealth creation. Both are absolutely
critical, but without growth we will have no wealth created to
fairly distribute," he said.
($1 = 1.3317 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal, writing by Nicole
Mordant in Vancouver, editing by G Crosse)