Cracking Down on Corrupt Mining Industry Deals

Regulators probe fraud and seek new disclosure rules
A Bumi coal mine on the Indonesian island of Borneo Photograph by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

For a business that routinely makes multibillion-dollar deals with governments and controversial leaders in the developing world, the mining industry has been remarkably free of regulatory scrutiny. No longer. World leaders gathering in Northern Ireland for the Group of Eight summit in mid-June called for tighter oversight by requiring companies to disclose all payments made to foreign governments. The new rules, aimed at exposing corruption, come as U.S. and British regulators probe companies including BHP Billiton and Eurasian Natural Resources. “Mining has been caught in the headlights in the past few months,” says Raj Karia, a partner in London at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. “The environment has changed. There is more need now to be very sure of what you’re buying and aware of the history of an asset.”

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