Mining CEO arrested, India’s multimillion dollar coal mine contract in jeopardy

Leighton Holdings (ASX:LEI), Australia’s largest construction company, said Monday that a senior executive at its Indian mining subsidiary had been arrested, and warned it might lose a multimillion dollar contract to develop and operate a $5.5 billion coal mine in India.

The company, controlled by Spanish construction group ACS, said Thiess Minecs Chief Executive Raman Srikanth had been arrested in Hyderabad in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in relation to a civil proceeding filed two years ago by an Indian company in Singapore.

“Thiess Minecs has advised the complaint is unfounded and urgent applications are being made to the courts in Hyderabad to dismiss it,” said Leighton in a statement to the ASX exchange.

The company did not disclose what Srikanth had been arrested for, and also declined to give further details of the complaint.

What it did say was Thiess’ Pakri Barwadih coal mine’s future is in jeopardy, as its biggest client is attempting to scrap a five-year contract worth $267 million.

Shares of Leighton Holdings closed at AUD$19.8, down 1.25% from the previous close in the Australian Securities Exchange.

( Image courtesy of Thiess)