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ICMM releases results of first global member tax survey

18 December 2018

London, UK – The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) published its first tax survey results today which show the amount of corporate income tax and royalties members paid between 2013 and 2017.

The report, prepared by PwC, shows that despite volatile commodity prices over the last five years, the 20 members of ICMM which completed the survey reported corporate income tax payments of $72.5bn and royalty payments of $36.3bn, making a total contribution of over $100 billion to public finances in the 50 countries they operate in.

Over the last five years, the ratio of tax and royalty charge to profits before impairments was 43.4%.  Impairments arise in the industry when a fall in commodity prices results in the market value for a mine being lower than the current valuation in the company’s financial statements. 

For every $100 of profit before impairments, $43.40 was charged in corporate income tax and royalties. This ratio reached 65% in 2016.  It has not dropped below 39% over the last five years.

Tom Butler, ICMM’s Chief Executive Officer said: “These tax and royalty payments are obviously significant, but they are just one way our members contribute to the countries where they operate. For example, ICMM members spend a similar amount on locally sourced goods and services which has direct, indirect and induced beneficial impacts in the local economy.

“These payments together with investment and spending on skills development, healthcare and major infrastructure projects have the power to transform lives and enable host countries to diversify their economies.”

Jason Burkitt, PwC mining leader, said: “This study demonstrates the contribution that the mining sector makes to the public finances around the world, particularly in less developed countries. Continued engagement between the mining sector and governments will be key to ensure that tax policies strike the right balance between raising revenue and encouraging future investment."  

The report highlights that half of the payments to governments were in royalties, which do not fluctuate as much as taxes. This is especially important to low and middle-income countries as it gives greater stability and enables host countries to diversify their economies and invest in social programmes.

Natural resources such as metals and minerals belong to a country’s citizens and extraction of these resources can lead to economic growth and social development. However, when poorly managed it can lead to corruption and even conflict. More openness around how a country manages its natural resource wealth is necessary to ensure that these resources can benefit all citizens.

For this reason, ICMM is a leading supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources which includes a requirement for companies and countries to be transparent about the taxes and royalties that are paid and received. Support for EITI is a condition of ICMM membership.

For low and middle-income countries, revenues from the mining sector are particularly important. Research published earlier this year found that when viewed through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, social progress was fastest in mining-dependent countries(1).

People in the 25 countries that are mining-dependent are now generally healthier, better educated, and enjoy improved access to affordable and clean energy, water and sanitation, and telecommunications and financial services.

The tax report also notes that growth of the mining sector through new investment will improve living standards in some of the poorest countries in the world. While this report focuses on corporate income tax and royalties, other taxes such as employment taxes and property taxes can also be significant.

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Notes for editors

1. ICMM (2018), 'Social Progress in Mining-Dependent Countries: Analysis through the lens of the SDGs'.

  • The full tax report is available here.

About ICMM

ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry which brings together 27 mining and metals companies and 36 regional and commodities associations. Every ICMM member company adheres to 10 Principles and 8 Position Statements on issues relating to sustainable development.

Media contact

Mike Eames
+44 7881 316724