The case regarding the impairment of Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique has been settled. Rio Tinto PLC reached a settlement with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission.
Australia’s Federal Court has ordered Rio Tinto to pay a penalty of $750,000 after the mining giant failed to inform the share market of changes within the business. ASIC said the court found between late December 2012 and early January 2013, Rio Tinto failed to disclose to the ASX that mining assets it held in Mozambique were no longer economically viable. This constituted a breach of continuous disclosure laws, which require public companies to disclose information that may impact the business’ share price or value.
“Rio Tinto had obligations to the market to keep it adequately informed about its mining projects overseas. When Rio Tinto was aware of information that Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique was no longer economically viable as a long-life, large-scale, Tier 1 coking coal resource, the market should have been properly informed in a timely manner,” said Sarah Court, Deputy Chair of ASIC.
“The core of ASIC’s case against Rio Tinto was its continuous disclosure breach and we are pleased the matter has been finalised with a penalty ordered. As part of this court approved settlement, Rio Tinto will pay a $750,000 penalty for a single contravention of its continuous disclosure obligations in the period 21 December 2012 to 17 January 2013, immediately preceding the impairment announcement. As part of this court approved settlement between ASIC and Rio Tinto, there were no findings of fraud or any systemic or widespread failure by Rio Tinto,” Sarah Court added