PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified major Rio Tinto is facing more scrutiny into its business dealings, this time from the Mongolian Anti-Corruption Authority (ACA), which has requested financial information from Rio subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources regarding the Oyu Tolgoi project.
Turquoise Hill told shareholders this week that the request related to an investigation around possible abuses of power by authorised officials during the 2009 negotiations of the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement.
However, the company noted that there was no indication that the ACA information request suggested that the Oyu Tolgoi project itself was the subject of the investigation.
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in July last year opened an investigation into suspected corruption by Rio Tinto in its business dealings in Guinea. The miner in late 2016 alerted the SFO and the US Department of Justice to a $10.5-million payment to a consultant for the Simandou iron-ore project. The miner subsequently terminated the contracts of energy and minerals chief Alan Davies and legal and regulatory affairs group executive Debra Valentine.
The Australian Federal Police in 2017 also launched an investigation into the payment.
Earlier in March, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission launched legal proceedings against Rio Tinto’s former CEO, Tom Albanese, and its former CFO, Guy Elliott. The AISC alleges that the company engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing statements in the 2011 annual report, signed by Albanese and Elliott, misrepresenting the reserves and resources of its Mozambique coal assets.