By Luke Balleny, Manager, Role of Mining and Metals in Society, International Council on Mining and Metals
How do mining companies spend their money? If you didn’t know and listened only to the media, you might think such companies spend the most on taxes and royalties. However, you’d be wrong.
When minerals or metals are monetised, the revenue is shared between four main stakeholders in the following ways:
- 50–65% of mining revenue goes to operating and capital expenditure, such as the suppliers who are paid for their inputs.
- 15–20% goes to government, which receives its share through royalties and taxes.
- 15–20% goes to investors who receive profits, typically a residual after the other payments have been made.
- 10–20% goes to employees who are paid their wages.
A World Gold Council (WGC) study shows that out of the total annual spending in 2012 of USD 55 billion by the 15 WGC members studied, some USD 35 billion were payments to other businesses, mostly subcontracting and procurement. Less than USD 10 billion were royalty and tax payments to governments.