Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
BT Group LSE:BT.A London Ordinary Share GB0030913577 ORD 5P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -2.65p -0.89% 294.00p 293.90p 294.00p 297.10p 293.35p 297.10p 12,760,721 14:03:00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Fixed Line Telecommunications 24,062.0 2,354.0 19.2 15.3 29,283.84

Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis to Step Down -- Update

09/03/2017 8:57am

Dow Jones News

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By Rhiannon Hoyle 

SYDNEY-- Rio Tinto PLC said Chairman Jan du Plessis plans to step down in the coming year, ending a run of more than eight years at the world's No. 2 mining company, which is facing scrutiny from authorities over some of its former African operations.

He joins a growing list of departures from the top ranks of global miners as the industry emerges from a multiyear downturn. BHP Billiton Ltd. Chairman Jac Nasser and Anglo American PLC Chairman John Parker have also signaled their intentions to stand down.

Rio Tinto said it has been looking for a successor to Mr. du Plessis, a South African and British citizen, since last June, after the appointment of Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who is known as J.S.

Mr. du Plessis will become chairman of British telecommunications company BT Group PLC in November. Rio Tinto said it expects to name his replacement this year.

"When we announced the appointment of J-S as chief executive a year ago, I committed to the board to serve as chairman for another two years, as part of a planned leadership transition," Mr. du Plessis said in a statement Thursday. "Today's announcement is the next step in that plan."

Mr. du Plessis has been a Rio director since 2008 and he became chairman a year later, as a China-led resources boom was gaining momentum. He was also chairman of British American Tobacco PLC and SABMiller PLC.

His departure closes out a year in which the company swung to a profit of $4.62 billion from a year-earlier loss due to a global commodities recovery and an aggressive campaign of cost-cutting and efficiency improvements.

The mining company, which had as recently as 2014 been a takeover target for Swiss commodities trader Glencore PLC, sold assets, cut jobs and jettisoned a stable dividend policy to conserve cash as the mining boom fizzled. Now, it is buying back shares and investing in new projects.

"The company has withstood the challenges of a cyclical industry and performed well," Mr. du Plessis said.

Last month, Anglo American's Mr. Parker said he would step down later this year. Mr. Nasser said he won't seek re-election this year either, now that work is under way to remediate an environmental disaster at a Brazilian operation that it runs with Vale SA.

As Mr. du Plessis plans his departure, Rio Tinto is facing investigations into some of its former African businesses, including an iron-ore deposit in Guinea.

Last year, Rio fired one of its most senior operational executives, as well as its head of legal and regulatory affairs, amid a probe into emails from 2011 that reference a $10.5 million payment to a consultant who helped secure mining rights for Guinea's Simandou deposit. This week, Australian Federal Police said they were investigating allegations related to the alleged payment.

During the boom, Simandou was a coveted prize as miners fought to dig up more iron ore, which used to make steel. In October, Rio Tinto agreed to sell its stake to Aluminum Corp. of China for $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

In December, Rio said it was also under investigation for a $3 billion impairment that was included in its 2012 accounts tied to coal assets in Mozambique, which have been sold.

Rio Tinto says it is cooperating with the relevant authorities, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It self-reported the Simandou issue to authorities in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 09, 2017 03:42 ET (08:42 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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