New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency

AFTER a tough year for Rio Tinto on the regulatory front, new chairman Simon Thompson has fronted his first annual general meeting to defend the company’s reputation.

New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency New Rio chairman vows to improve transparency

Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson

"Over the past two years, our reputation has been called into question, by allegations of accounting fraud in relation to former assets in Mozambique and of bribery in Guinea, so it is important that I address these issues," Thompson told the London AGM overnight.

"In 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority determined that we should have impaired an investment in a coal project in Mozambique six months earlier than we did, in 2012.

"These are highly complex, technical accounting judgements, and the FCA, of course, had the benefit of hindsight. Nevertheless, we have settled this matter with the FCA and paid a financial penalty of £27 million.

"Importantly, the FCA found no evidence of widespread or systemic failure or of fraud. They simply believed that Rio...