Mining taxes and social policy

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 955, 1991

Robert B. Parsons, Partner, Price Waterhouse, Toronto

Exploration and development of mineral resources in developing countries by Canadian-based multinational mining companies is becoming increasingly common. One problem being encountered is that the objectives of the governments of developing countries can differ from those of developed countries. These objectives are not always consistent with maximizing returns from the projects, which can create conflicts between the mining company's responsibility to its shareholders and the desire to be a good corporate citizen. This article discusses how a mining tax regime can be designed to make the social goals of a government consistent with the economic goals of the company.