Questions lodged at the Rio Tinto AGM

May 8, 2021

Here is the text of the 11 written questions lodged during the Rio Tinto AGM. Only two of them were asked in a package linked in with two other shareholders.

1. Given the Juukan Gorge fiasco which showed London headquartered Rio Tinto was so out of touch with Australia, why don't you move the head office to Australia and commit to having a majority of Australian-based directors, including our first ever Indigenous director?

2. Rio Tinto has helped deliver mining heiress Gina Rinehart a fortune which is now valued by The Australian newspaper at $36.28 billion. This was first done through Hammersley royalties and then through the 50-50 Hope Downs joint venture which gave her the cash flow to develop Roy Hill on her own. Given Roy Hill makes Gina Rinehart a serious direct competitor to Rio, is it time to unscramble the Hope Downs Joint Venture? What do we value our 50% share at and do the parties have pre-emptive rights?

3. First Remuneration question for Rio Tinto : why were Messrs Jacques, Salisbury and Niven sacked by the board but still treated as “good leavers” and collectively given a potential $50 million-plus golden good bye when what they were responsible for at Juukan Gorge was anything but good?

4. Could the lead Australian independent director Simon McKeon comment on whether he believes Rio Tinto would be better treated by Australian and WA politicians, regulators and the media if the head office was moved from London to Australia and the board was populated by a majority of Australian-based directors. If so, why hasn't that happened yet?

5. The Chinese Communist Party effectively controls 11.22% of Rio Tinto's total shares on issue and is our largest shareholder through the 182.55 million shares owned by Chinalco out of Singapore. Have they requested board representation during their 12 years as our biggest shareholder and why hasn't it ever been granted to them given they own shares worth $14.76 billion? Are they treated differently from any other shareholder?

6. Juukan Gorge happened 12 months ago. Why is the chairman even standing for election today and could he please comment on whether the Chinese Communist Party supported his re-election through Chinalco's 11.22% stake. How large was the proxy vote against Simon's re-election and was he surprised by the size of this protest vote?

7. Chris Lynch served almost two years on the Rio Tinto board as a non-executive director and more than 7 years as an executive director and chief financial officer before retiring in 2018. Given there are 4 vacancies on the Rio Tinto board, can the outgoing chair and Simon McKeon, as the lead independent, both comment on whether Chris Lynch will be considered as a potential independent chair of the company, the first time Rio Tinto would ever have had an Australian-based chairman?

8. Does our risk register and scenario planning include the possibility of conflict between the US and China over Taiwan and an order that we cease all iron ore exports to China. Would this lead to a mass shutdown of our WA business and are we too dependent on China? Australia's new Defence Minister, Peter Dutton, and senior bureaucrats around him are raising the prospect of war with China. What does our CEO and chairman think about this?

9. In addition to their $14.7 billion stake in Rio Tinto through Chinalco, how big a global competitor is the Chinese state to Rio Tinto in the global iron ore market? In which countries and markets are Chinese Communist Party influenced Chinese companies seeking to expand their direct ownership of iron ore deposits and mines? Are they a serious threat as a competing supplier to the Pilbara?

10. Thank you for conducting an inclusive hybrid AGM with questions accommodated both at the Perth venue and online. Why didn't you do the same at the AGM of Rio Tinto-controlled Energy Resources Australia, when the former uranium miner held it AGM in Darwin on April 28? There was no ERA AGM webcast and the notice of meeting actively discouraged Darwin residents from attending. Please take shareholder engagement seriously at all levels of Rio Tinto, including listed subsidiaries like ERA.

11. A lot of territory has been covered today already, yet less than 1% of Rio Tinto Ltd's 150,000-plus are attending, watching or will watch an archive of this AGM webcast. Could the chair undertake to make a full transcript of the AGM proceedings available on the Rio Tinto website by the end of next week? Other ASX listed companies such as Crown Resorts, Woolworths and Transurban have responded positively to this request?