Thanks to a new rule, the Canadian mining industry has become a lot more transparent
The amount of money that companies like Barrick Gold and ExxonMobil actually give to governments of countries that they extract resources from is now publicly available online thanks to a Canadian bill that was passed back in 2015.
This is significant because that information cannot be gleaned directly from the annual reports of publicly-listed companies, making it difficult to determine if resource companies were actually paying their fair share in taxes and royalties to governments.
The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) was brought into force on June 1, 2015, and required that all oil, gas and mining companies listed on Canadian stock exchanges disclose payments to governments of $100,000 CAD and over on a project-by-project basis.
Two years later, we are starting to see the impact of ESTMA — over the past month, hundreds of financial reports detailing payments from extractive companies to governments around the world have trickled into the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) website.
More than 1200 extractive companies operating in over 100 countries are affected by the rule. The Toronto Stock Exchange alone hosted almost 60 percent of the world’s mining companies in 2013, and accounted for over 60 percent of the global mining equity raised in 2014. That effectively means that most major mining companies in the world will have to comply with ESTMA.
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