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Rio Tinto to pay $15 million to settle U.S. SEC investigation

Published Mar 06, 2023 05:05PM ET Updated Mar 06, 2023 05:56PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Rio Tinto logo is displayed on a visitor's helmet at a borates mine in Boron, California, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon/File Photo
 
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(Reuters) -Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it had agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty to settle an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, relating to an alleged bribery scheme involving a consultant in Guinea.

The company, fined for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, said the investigation involved certain contractual payments made to a former consultant over a decade ago.

The U.S. SEC investigation found in July 2011 the company had hired a French investment banker, a close friend of a former senior Guinean government official, as a consultant to help Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) retain its mining rights in the Simandou region in Guinea.

The miner, one of the world's top iron ore producers, said it would pay the charges without admitting to or denying the SEC's findings that it violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions.

"When Rio became aware of the issue, an internal investigation was immediately launched, and we proactively notified the appropriate authorities," Chairman Dominic Barton said on Tuesday.

Rio Tinto to pay $15 million to settle U.S. SEC investigation
 

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