Serious Fraud Office opens probe into Rio Tinto Guinea "suspected corruption"

 
Oliver Gill
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An employee of Australian mining giant R
Rio Tinto reported itself to UK authorities in November 2016 (Source: Getty)

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened an investigation into mining giant Rio Tinto.

In a short statement, the SFO said it will probe "suspected corruption in the conduct of business in the Republic of Guinea by the Rio Tinto group, its employees and others associated with it".

Last November, Rio Tinto notified UK authorities after it became aware of "email correspondence from 2011 relating to contractual payments totalling $10.5m (£8m) made to a consultant providing advisory services on the Simandou project in Guinea".

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At the time, the mining firm's energy and minerals chief executive Alan Davies, who had accountability for the Simandou project in 2011, was suspended with immediate effect.

Today a spokesperson for Rio Tinto said: "Rio Tinto will fully co-operate with the Serious Fraud Office and any other relevant authorities, as it has done since it self-reported in November 2016."

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