Canada Targeting Mining Corruption
January 16, 2014
Canada's mining industry is ready to release a report of recommendations it has developed to target the financial dealings between miners and governments as more countries tackle corruption in the industry. The Mining Association of Canada has been working with Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. Publish What You Pay Canada and the Revenue Watch Institute to investigate the transparency of taxes, royalties and other payments mining companies make to foreign countries. The idea is to establish a global standard for disclosing transactions in mining deals as corruption continues to hinder the industry's reputation.
Some of the recommendations being proposed include requiring large companies to disclose payments of more than $100,000 and venture companies to report more than $10,000 to any level of government both at home and abroad. Also being discussed is companies reporting on a wide range of payments from profit taxes to royalties and bonuses.
Concern has been growing about the legality and ethics being practiced in mining operations around the world, particularly with governments in Africa. Getting approval to mine gold and diamonds in certain parts of the world can involve heavy bribes and unfair bidding practices that the mining industry is hoping to clean up. With a global standard for reporting finances everyone would be held to the same level of accountability thus eliminating obvious and blatant infractions.
Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, told the Huffington Post, "A global standard is critical for this type of disclosure to create a level playing field for companies."
A report from the Mining Association of Canada found that between 2003 and 2012, federal and provincial governments collected an estimated $71 billion from mining companies. By making payments more transparent, mining industry regulators are hoping to curtail illegal activity that often influences the decisions made by governments on which companies are allowed to mine natural resources.