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BHP may face sanctions in anti-corruption investigation

Keywords: Tags  BHP Billiton, Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Beijing Olympics, anti-corruption, Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — BHP Billiton Ltd. may face enforcement actions by U.S. authorities stemming from an investigation into the mining company’s sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Discussions with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are continuing, the Melbourne, Australia-based mining company said. "The issues relate primarily to matters in connection with previously terminated exploration and development efforts, as well as hospitality provided as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Olympics."

BHP started an internal investigation after receiving an SEC request for information in August 2009. The company said it disclosed to authorities information it uncovered regarding possible violations of anti-corruption laws involving interactions with foreign government officials.

BHP in March this year denied violating anti-corruption laws as the Justice Department and the Australian Federal Police were probing allegations that the mining company provided inducements, hospitality and gifts to Chinese and other foreign officials that may have led to business advantages.

"In light of the continuing nature of the investigations, it is not appropriate at this stage for BHP Billiton to comment further or to predict outcomes," the company said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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