Mining companies have long been familiar with perception based issues given their business of the extraction of minerals from resource-rich nations. However, the world has changed considerably over the last 10 years.
Mining companies generally have been amenable to being more transparent in their affairs, often voluntarily publishing information on payments to governments before recent regulations made such disclosure mandatory. However, despite their efforts to articulate the many benefits they bring to society, mining companies generally have failed to counter the negative narrative put forth in media accounts.
Considering the global thrust toward more stringent transparency regulations, it is clear that this situation needs to change, and soon. Mining companies increasingly need to find their voice in articulating the risks they take and the contributions they make to local and national economies.
Over recent years, rules and regulations around the world have been changing in relation to tax structures and transparency for international mining companies. In relation to tax structures, perhaps the most significant has been the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project launched by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which seeks to align tax rules between countries to ensure a fair approach across the board. This project is now reaching its fruition and changes are being implemented in the tax codes of many nations.