Taxpayers footing the bill for overseas Rio Tinto mine

AUSTRALIAN taxpayers will help Rio Tinto to fund a $US5.1 billion mine expansion in Mongolia, after Australia's export credit agency decided to continue its controversial habit of lending to multinational corporations.

Despite pleas for it to focus on small and medium exporters that cannot source loans elsewhere in the market, Australia's Export Finance and Insurance Corporation confirmed that it would participate in financing the second stage of Rio's Oyu Tolgoi mine.

A spokeswoman for EFIC would not reveal the size of the loan, but the organisation typically lends in the tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Rio has reportedly secured at least half of the $US5.1 billion in finance required to build the expansion, with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation among those committed to the project.

EFIC's decision to lend money to Rio comes despite Australia's Productivity Commission urging the organisation to ''substantially reorientate'' its focus toward small exporters, rather than big companies that can easily source money elsewhere at low interest rates.


Topics:  mongolia rio tinto

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How to stop Facebook from grabbing your data

How Facebook can grab your data, and what to do to stop it

UPDATE: Jockey remains in ICU at Coffs Harbour

INJURED: Jockey Kirk Matheson was injured in a fall during racing at Clarence Valley Jockey Club.

Injured jockey Kirk Matheson rushed into surgery.

PHOTOS: Meet our kindy students

Newrybar Public School

My First Year commemorates the start of school for kinders

Local Partners