Australia is an important part of our global business; we have operated in the country for nearly 20 years. See how we contribute to economy and society, and engage with communities.
We employ 15,600 people in Australia, across the mining and agricultural industries – with a focus on coal, copper, nickel, oil, zinc, cotton, grain and oilseeds.
We have 24 mines across three Australian states and the Northern Territory; numerous port facilities; and offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
We are a major contributor of taxes and royalties to Australia.
We paid nearly USD1.4 billion in taxes and royalties to state and federal governments in the country in 2016, and have paid more than USD8.7 billion since 2007.
We are proud of our socio-economic contribution to Australia. In 2016, we paid USD1.6 billion in employee wages and benefits.
We also make investments in community schemes. For example, at McArthur River Mine, in Northern Territory, we have invested USD12.3 million into the community over 10 years, via the MRM Community Benefits Trust.
Projects support culture and art, enterprise and job creation, community development, education, health, and the environment.
In Australia as elsewhere, we are determined to eliminate fatalities at our operations.
In 2013, we began a new approach to catastrophic hazards in our Australian coal business – designing a five-step programme for assets.
The programme has covered hazards such as underground gas and explosion, underground strata failure, open-cut strata failure, and open-cut vehicles.
We are also working to prevent manual handling injuries. At Murrin Murrin in Western Australia, thesewere about 64% of all work-related injuries in early 2016. But by the last quarter of 2016, employees reported no manual handling injuries.
We have a number of programmes devoted to indigenous communities. For example, at Mount Isa, we have an award-winning indigenous employment programme, which helps young local indigenous people prepare for employment.
In the Upper Hunter region, New South Wales, we also have an aboriginal community working group.
In 2016 this group oversaw a cultural awareness training package; it also helps support scholarships for aboriginal children and an academy for young aboriginal men.
Meanwhile at McArthur River, we began engaging local people in initiatives that could lead to employment at the mine. The mine is about 65km from the township of Borroloola, where 90% of people are of indigenous background.
We are engaging openly with indigenous communities on our plans to mine Aurukun bauxite, on land traditionally owned by the Wik and Wik Way People. We applied for a Mineral Development Licence in January 2015.
Mount Isa piloted its Girls for Mining mentoring programme in 2016, the first of its kind in North West Australia. Some 25 local secondary school girls were matched with mentors.
Our assets at Ravensworth and Mount Owen, in New South Wales, have won awards for their rehabilitation work.
At Mount Owen, for example, we continue to work to turn disturbed areas over to native woodland, forest and pasture – and have established research links with the University of Newcastle to support leading practice.
At our Mangoola open-cut mine, also in New South Wales, we plan to turn around 1,300 hectares of land to vegetation consistent with the surrounding area, using natural landforms.