A Canadian mining company operating in one of the world’s biggest copper deposits has avoided more than half a billion dollars in Canadian tax over the last seven years, according to a report released Wednesday.
By using a complex network of tax haven subsidiaries and lending money to itself at high interest rates, Turquoise Hill Resources has also deprived the government of Mongolia — where the mine is located — of an additional $230 million (U.S.), states the report produced by the Dutch non-profit SOMO.
“It’s shameless tax avoidance,” said Vincent Kiezebrink, one of the report’s authors. “It doesn’t just affect the world poorest, but also regular people in Western countries as well.”
“The more multinationals keep avoiding taxes, the more regular folks will have to pay for public services that are important not only for people, but also for the multinationals,” said Kiezebrink, who is a researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, known by the Dutch acronym SOMO.
Turquoise Hill, a mining company headquartered in Vancouver and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, used letterbox companies in Luxembourg and the Netherlands to make almost $7 billion in loans to its Oyo Tolgoi mine in Mongolia between 2010 and 2016, the report states.