At the formal launch of the ResourceContracts.mn contracts portal on 22 April, Mongolia’s deputy minister of mines and heavy industry reaffirmed the country’s commitment to publishing mining and petroleum contracts and announced the public release of over 150 new contracts. After several years of stuttering progress on contract transparency in Mongolia, this is welcome news.
Some oil, gas and mining companies reporting their payments to governments under U.K. law have omitted important elements. Publish What You Pay and NRGI have raised concerns around the omissions, and authorties are taking action.
In a report, Rio Tinto was accused of “illegitimately lowering” its withholding taxes paid to the government of Mongolia in relation to the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. Rio allegedly did this by using a double tax agreement between Mongolia and the Netherlands, in addition to which it negotiated an even lower rate of withholding tax in its amended mining agreement in 2011. This piece reviews Rio’s tax arrangements.
NRGI set out to collect total oil, gas and mining revenue data for the countries included in the Resource Governance Index to find out how many dollars flow to governments that mismanage the handling of their natural resources.