BPPA to lobby for miner Rio Tinto

Mining giant Rio Tinto has hired Bell Pottinger Public Affairs to handle its UK lobbying.

BPPA takes over from GPC, which has held the account since 1997. GPC, which did not repitch for the work, will continue to work on the account during a hand-over period that ends in January.

The BPPA team is headed by director Neil Stockley and includes account manager Laura Wentworth- Stanley. It reports to international and government affairs director Shaun Stewart.

Stockley said the brief includes a focus on international and sustainable development issues as well as climate change and will focus on targeting government departments.

He added that lobbying activity involving environmental groups and NGOs will continue to be handled in-house but BPPA will ‘assist with strategic issues’.

‘It’s a very big brief really, focusing on government departments but also MPs interested in the extraction industry,’ he said.

Last month it was reported that Rio Tinto’s copper and gold volumes at some of its pits had fallen. The company also announced that together with its Japanese partners, it had signed ‘historic’ agreements relating to iron ore.

This includes a long-term sales contract for the supply of 150 million tonnes of Yandi iron ore to Nippon Steel over the next two decades.

Rio Tinto’s other major products include aluminium, diamonds, coal and uranium. Its business includes wholly owned subsidiaries such as Borax, Comalco and Hamersley.

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