Bonuses For Former Rio Tinto Bosses Delayed Amid Guinea Investigation


Rio Tinto, a mining giant, will yet again delay the bonus payments that are intended for its former chief executive as it waits for the outcome of ­the bribery investigations that are related to its ­activities in Guinea. The amount is over $10.5 million (£8.3m) and was paid by a consultant on a mining project in Africa.

The payouts to Sam Walsh, the former boss of the company, were first postponed in 2017 when Rio Tinto said that it would delay his bonuses for at least two years.

The payments of $10.5 million (£8.3 million) to a consultant on the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea regulators were already referred to regulators two years ago.

Rio Tinto stated: “Given investigations remain ongoing the board has asked Sam to agree to a further deferral until the investigations have concluded.”

The base salary of Walsh was approximately AU$2 million (£1.1 million) per year when he retired after 25 years of working at the firm.

At the time, Walsh stated: “I would add that the company acknowledges my firm belief that during my time with Rio Tinto I always acted lawfully and in accordance with my duties and this applies to the Simandou project.”  He added that he left “with a good conscience.”

It is not clear how the offer of a second and now open-ended deferral was received by the former CEO who has been rightly credited with righting the Rio ship following the calamitous term of Tom Albanese, his predecessor, was abruptly terminated in February 2013.

People may be assured that Walsh has not yet accepted the terms that were offered by Rio. With that said, it will be stopping a determination to pursue his rights through the courts. It is difficult to see what any level of resistance may productively achieve beyond perhaps revising the terms of the revised deferral deed that is offered by Simon Thompson, the chairman of Rio.