- AST ASIC confirmed Rio Tinto Limited had been found by AST Court to have breached the continuous disclosure law requirements as set out in the Corporations Act 2001.
- Follows AST ASIC March 2018 action vs. Rio Tinto, and ex-CEO, CFO.
- In December 2010, Rio Tinto Group announced a takeover offer for then ASX-listed Riversdale Mining Limited, which was completed in August 2011, with a price of over US$4 billion.
- Following the acquisition, Rio Tinto Limited, part of Rio Tinto Group, then de-listed the Riversdale business and renamed all its assets to Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique (RTCM).
- On 17 January 2013, Rio Tinto Group announced it expected to recognize a non-cash impairment charge of about US$14bn in 2012 results that included US$3bn for RTCM.
- AST Court found that between 21 December 2012 and 17 January 2013, Rio Tinto had failed to disclose material information to ASX on all of its operations and future assessments.
- This included the fact that mining assets held by Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique were no longer economically viable as a long-life, large-scale, tier-one coking coal resource.
- When Rio Tinto was aware of information that RTCM was no longer economically viable as a Tier 1 coking coal resource, then the market should have been properly informed.
- The core of AST ASIC's case against Rio Tinto was for breach of continuous disclosure.
- AST Court also ordered, with the consent of the parties, AST ASIC’s claims against two former officers of Rio Tinto, be dismissed and with the parties bearing their own costs.
- The Federal Court has ordered Rio Tinto Limited to pay a penalty of $750,000 after it found that the mining company had contravened its continuous disclosure obligations.
- In addition, Rio Tinto was ordered by AST Court to pay AST ASIC’s cost of proceedings.