Rio Tinto will pay out a record $6.5bn (£4.7bn) dividend to investors as it hailed “robust” results despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FTSE-listed mining giant said it will pay a final dividend of $3.09 per share and a special dividend of $0.93 per share.
Combined with its half-year dividend, this takes the total payout for the year to $9bn.
It comes after Rio Tinto cashed in on a sharp rise in commodity prices in the second half of the year as economies recovered from an initial coronavirus-induced slump.
Higher iron ore prices helped drive the company’s net cash up six per cent to $15.9bn, while net profit jumped by more than a fifth to $9.7bn.
Rio Tinto also slashed its net debt from $3.7bn to $664m.
The Anglo-Australian miner today set out new emissions targets, pledging to in technology that could reduce the carbon intensity of steelmaking by at least 30 per cent from 2030.
Rio said it was also working with local communities following its destruction of Aboriginal heritage sites in Australia.
The company said it did “not underestimate the time and effort it will take for us to help restore trust and rebuild our reputation” over the incident, which led to the departure of chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques.
New boss Jakob Stausholm said: “Working closely with the board, we must earn the right to become a trusted partner for traditional owners, host communities, governments and other stakeholders but we all recognise that this will require sustained and consistent effort.”