Rio Tinto will increase its focus on operational excellence and project development, strengthening the company’s ESG credentials, and rebuilding trust, particularly in Australia, under a new organisational structure. This approach will be underpinned by the safe operation of our world-class assets, continued disciplined capital allocation, and a strong balance sheet. To achieve these goals, Rio Tinto Chief …

Rio Tinto will increase its focus on operational excellence and project development, strengthening the company’s ESG credentials, and rebuilding trust, particularly in Australia, under a new organisational structure. This approach will be underpinned by the safe operation of our world-class assets, continued disciplined capital allocation, and a strong balance sheet.

To achieve these goals, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm has appointed a permanent Chief Executive of Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore business, created a Chief Operating Officer (COO) role, and added a Chief Executive Australia to his leadership team. Simon Trott, currently Chief Commercial Officer, will become Iron Ore Chief Executive; Copper & Diamonds Chief Executive Arnaud Soirat will become Group COO; and Kellie Parker, now Managing Director Pacific Operations Aluminium, will join the Executive Committee (ExCo) as Chief Executive Australia.

Jakob Stausholm said: “While Rio Tinto continues to deliver strong safety and operational performance, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, there are improvements we can achieve across the business to make Rio Tinto more resilient, and an even stronger performer and employer. I want to re-establish Rio Tinto as a trusted partner for host communities, governments and other stakeholders.

“Now the work starts for ExCo, with a full agenda ahead of us and a determination to become a strong team. I am confident that together we can unleash Rio Tinto’s full potential.”

Rio Tinto will retain four product groups Aluminium, Copper, Iron Ore, and Minerals, which will now also include the Diamonds business. In addition to Simon Trott’s appointment, Ivan Vella, currently Interim Iron Ore Chief Executive, will become Aluminium Chief Executive; Energy & Minerals Chief Executive Bold Baatar will become Copper Chief Executive; and Sinead Kaufman, currently Managing Director Operations Copper & Diamonds, will join ExCo as Minerals Chief Executive.

As COO, Arnaud Soirat will use his extensive operational experience to drive company-wide improvements in the Rio Tinto production system during a fixed 18-month term.

The product groups will continue to be supported by the Safety, Technical and Projects Group, run by Mark Davies, which includes the recently established Communities & Social Performance function.

In her role as Chief Executive Australia, Kellie Parker will focus on rebuilding trust and strengthening external relationships across Australia.

Aluminium Chief Executive Alf Barrios will become Chief Commercial Officer, leading the drive to deliver additional value from mine to market.

Vera Kirikova, Chief People Officer, has decided to leave the company. James Martin, currently a partner at Egon Zehnder, will join Rio Tinto as Chief People Officer with effect from 6 April 2021. James has a strong track record of supporting businesses in leadership development, cultural change and team effectiveness, having worked with clients across multiple sectors.

Peter Toth remains as Group Executive, Strategy and Development, including climate change; Barbara Levi remains as Chief Legal Officer & External Affairs; and Peter Cunningham continues as Interim Chief Financial Officer until the recruitment process for a permanent appointment is finalised.

Jakob Stausholm said: “I would like to welcome Kellie, Sinead and James to the executive team. They will bring a new perspective along with strong track records. I would also like to thank Vera for her contribution to Rio Tinto over a number of years.”

The new leadership team, effective by 1 March, is:

Jakob Stausholm, Chief Executive
Bold Baatar, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Copper
Alf Barrios, Chief Commercial Officer
Peter Cunningham, Interim Chief Financial Officer
Mark Davies, Group Executive, Safety, Technical and Projects
Sinead Kaufman, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Minerals
Barbara Levi, Chief Legal Officer & External Affairs
James Martin, Chief People Officer (joins 6 April)
Kellie Parker, Chief Executive Australia
Arnaud Soirat, Chief Operating Officer
Peter Toth, Group Executive, Strategy and Development
Simon Trott, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Iron Ore
Ivan Vella, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Aluminium

Notes to editors:

Biographies for leadership team members:

Jakob Stausholm, Chief Executive
Nationality: Danish
Location: London
Jakob joined Rio Tinto in 2018 as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. Before joining Rio Tinto, he had been Chief Strategy, Finance and Transformation Officer for the Maersk Group and Group Chief Financial Officer for ISS A/S. Before that, he worked for Shell for almost 20 years across Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, with roles including Vice President, Finance for Asia-Pacific, and chief internal auditor.

Bold Baatar, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Copper
Nationality: Mongolian
Location: London
Bold has been Chief Executive Energy and Minerals since 2016, having joined Rio Tinto as President of Copper, International Operations in May 2013. He had previously held executive positions with a diversified investment management business, a gold mining company in Mongolia and as an investment banker with JP Morgan.

Alf Barrios, Chief Commercial Officer
Nationality: Spanish and USA
Location: Singapore
Alf joined Rio Tinto as Chief Executive Rio Tinto Aluminium in 2014. Prior to then, he held various leadership positions at BP, including Executive Director and Executive Vice President, Downstream at TNK-BP where he was responsible for the refining, trading, supply, logistics and marketing business. He also held the position of President and CEO Spain & Portugal.

Peter Cunningham, Interim Chief Financial Officer
Nationality: British
Location: London
Peter became Interim Chief Financial Officer in January 2021. Before this, he was Group Controller, with responsibility for Group financial reporting and business evaluation. He has been with Rio Tinto for 27 years and held senior leadership roles, including Head of Health, Safety, Environment and Communities; Head of Energy and Climate Strategy; and Head of Investor Relations.

Mark Davies, Group Executive, Safety, Technical and Projects
Nationality: Australian
Location: Brisbane
Mark was appointed to his current role in July 2020. He joined Rio Tinto in 1995 as a senior mechanical engineer and has worked in various operational and functional leadership roles, including chief commercial officer and interim CEO for the Iron and Titanium business unit, head of Group Risk and most recently, vice president, Global Procurement.

Sinead Kaufman, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Minerals
Nationality: Irish and Australian
Location: London
Sinead has been Managing Director Operations, Copper & Diamonds, since 2018. She joined Rio Tinto in 1997 and has held senior leadership and operational roles across Aluminium, Copper & Diamonds, Energy & Minerals, and Iron ore. Sinead originally joined Rio Tinto as a Geologist.

Barbara Levi, Chief Legal Officer & External Affairs
Nationality: Italian
Location: London
Barbara joined Rio Tinto in January 2020 as Group General Counsel. She has over 20 years’ experience in senior legal roles across Europe and in the US, including Group Legal Head, M&A and Strategic Transactions for Novartis, and General Counsel, Sandoz.

James Martin, Chief People Officer
Nationality: British
Location: London
James will join Rio Tinto on 6 April. He has been a partner at Egon Zehnder for 14 years, leading a range of global practices. He specialises in coaching individuals and teams as well as talent management and leadership development. Prior roles included senior equity research roles at Credit Suisse First Boston and ABN AMRO. He began his career as a pilot in the UK’s Royal Air Force.

Kellie Parker, Chief Executive Australia
Nationality: Australian
Location: Melbourne
Kellie has been Managing Director, Pacific Operations, Aluminium since September 2018. She joined Rio Tinto in 2001 and has held a number of safety, operational and leadership roles across both the Iron Ore and Aluminium businesses.

Arnaud Soirat, Chief Operating Officer
Nationality: French
Location: London
Arnaud was appointed Chief Executive, Copper & Diamonds in 2016. He joined the Aluminium business of Rio Tinto in 2010 and held various senior roles. Prior to this, he had 25 years’ experience in commercial and operations roles in the metals and mining industry including at Alcoa and Pechiney in Australia and Europe.

Peter Toth, Group Executive, Strategy and Development
Nationality: Hungarian and Australian
Location: London
Peter was appointed in 2020 having previously been Head of Corporate Development, responsible for corporate strategy and business development. Before joining Rio Tinto in 2014, he gained over 25 years’ experience working in the resources industry around the world, including senior commercial roles with BHP and chief executive of ASX-listed OM Holdings Ltd.

Simon Trott, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Iron Ore
Nationality: Australian
Location: Perth
Simon was appointed Chief Commercial Office in 2018, responsible for our global marketing, procurement, marine and logistics. Since joining Rio Tinto in 2000, he has held a variety of operating, commercial and business development roles across a number of commodities, including Managing Director of businesses such as Salt, Uranium, Borates and Diamonds.

Ivan Vella, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Aluminium
Nationality: Australian
Location: Montreal
Ivan has been the Interim Chief Executive Iron Ore since September 2020. Prior to this, he was Managing Director Rail Port & Core Services, Iron Ore, for four years. He joined Rio Tinto in 2003 and has held various senior positions including COO for Coal and COO Oyu Tolgoi. Before then he worked for Deloitte Consulting.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

media.enquiries@riotinto.com
riotinto.com

Media Relations, United Kingdom
Illtud Harri
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David Outhwaite
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Media Relations, Americas
Matthew Klar
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Natalie Worley
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Group Company Secretary
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Rio Tinto plc
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United Kingdom
T +44 20 7781 2000
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Rio Tinto Limited
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Registered in Australia
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Category: General

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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