Rio Tinto faces investor revolt over minerals council memberships

A collection of powerful global investors have filed a shareholder resolution against Rio Tinto, asking the miner to review its relationship with industry bodies blocking progress on climate change.

The campaign will put pressure on Rio with regards to its membership with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

It will also demand that the Anglo-Australian company reveals all membership fees paid since 2012 and disclose what it would take for Rio to quit its membership of the MCA.

Should Rio accept a review of its membership with the MCA it would imitate the same process being conducted within BHP. The prospect of Australia’s two largest miners quitting the council would effectively remove around a third of the MCA’s revenue from membership fees.

The global investors include the UK Church of England Pensions Board, the Australian Government Super fund and the Seventh Swedish Pension Fund, with the action coordinated by the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).

They have around US$84 billion worth of assets under management, and collectively are thought to hold more than $100 million worth of shares in Rio.