Kinross Gold settles charges over anti-corruption rules: SEC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Canadian-based mining company Kinross Gold agreed to pay $950,000 to settle civil charges that it failed to ensure its payments in Africa were not being used to bribe government officials.

The SEC said in a statement Monday the company did little to verify payments to politically connected consultants and vendors – often made in cash – in Ghana and Mauritania were being used for their stated purpose.

For example between 2012 and 2015, Kinross paid a Ghanaian consultant $1,000 in cash per work visa he helped obtain for company staff, without detailing just what this former government official did to help expedite the process.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compels companies to maintain book keeping practices aimed at preventing bribery.

As part of the civil settlement Kinross did not admit or deny wrongdoing but pledged to improve its accounting and compliance practices, Kinross said in a statement.

The Justice Department notified Kinross that it had closed its parallel criminal investigation last year, Kinross said in a statement.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman; Editing by Andrew Hay)