IFRS 16, policies, certain lessee disclosures, mining

Rio Tinto plc – annual report – 31 December 2020

Industry: mining

1 Principal accounting policies (extract)

(k) Leases (notes 14, 21, 22)

IFRS 16 “Leases” applies to the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases. Certain leases are exempt from the standard, including leases to explore for or use minerals, oil, natural gas and similar non-regenerative resources. The Group does not apply IFRS 16 to arrangements which fall within the scope of IAS 38 “Intangible Assets”.

A significant proportion by value of the Group’s lease arrangements relate to dry bulk vessels and offices. Other leases include land and non-mining rights, warehouses, ports, equipment and vehicles. The majority of lease terms are negotiated through the Group’s procurement function, although agreements contain a wide range of different terms and conditions.

The Group recognises all lease liabilities and corresponding right of use assets, with the exception of short-term (12 months or fewer) and low value leases, on the balance sheet. Lease liabilities are recorded at the present value of: fixed payments; variable lease payments that depend on an index or rate; amounts payable under residual value guarantees; and extension options expected to be exercised. Where a lease contains an extension option which the Group can exercise without negotiation, lease payments for the extension period are included in the liability if the Group is reasonably certain that it will exercise the option. Variable lease payments not dependent on an index or rate are excluded from the calculation of lease liabilities. Payments are discounted at the incremental borrowing rate of the lessee, unless the interest rate implicit in the lease can be readily determined. For lease agreements relating to vessels, ports and properties, non-lease components are excluded from the projection of future lease payments and recorded separately within operating costs on a straight line basis. The lease liability is measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method. The right of use asset arising from a lease arrangement at initial recognition reflects the lease liability, initial direct costs, lease payments made before the commencement date of the lease, and capitalised provision for dismantling and restoration, less any lease incentives.

The Group recognises depreciation of right of use assets and interest on lease liabilities in the income statement over the lease term. Repayments of lease liabilities are separated into a principal portion (presented within financing activities) and interest portion (which the Group presents in operating activities) in the cash flow statement. Payments made before the commencement date are included within financing activities unless they in substance represent investing cash flows, for example where pre-commencement cash flows are significant relative to aggregate cash flows of the leasing arrangement.

14 Property, plant and equipment (extract)

Right-of-use assets Leased

(a) Impairment charges in 2020 relate to Pacific Aluminium smelters, the ISAL smelter in Iceland and our interest in the Diavik diamond mine (see note 6). Impairment charges in 2019 related to the ISAL smelter (see note 6).

The leased assets of the Group comprise land and buildings (mainly office buildings) and plant and equipment, the majority of which are marine vessels. Lease terms are negotiated on an individual basis and contain a wide range of terms and conditions. Right of use assets are depreciated on a straight line basis over the life of the lease, taking into account any extensions that are likely to be enacted.

22 Leases

Lessee arrangements

We have made the following payments associated with leases:

Lease liabilities

The maturity profile of lease liabilities recognised at the balance sheet date is:

At 31 December 2020, commitments for leases not yet commenced were US$125 million (2019: US$119 million); commitments relating to short-term leases which had already commenced at 31 December 2020 were US$155 million (2019: US$108 million). Short-term and low value leases are not recognised on the balance sheet as a lease liability and are expensed as incurred.

29 Financial instruments and risk management (extract)

In the table below, we summarise the maturity profile of our financial liabilities based on contractual undiscounted payments, which will therefore not necessarily agree with the amounts disclosed in the balance sheet.