Turquoise Hill paid $61 million to departing Friedland and co

Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill Resources (previously Ivanhoe Mines) nearing completion of its massive Oyu Tolgoi coper-gold mine in Mongolia had to pay $19.4 million to cancel cost-sharing deals with companies wholly-owned by former CEO Robert Friedland.

Businessweek reports the payments were made for services including aircraft rental and other corporate functions from Ivanhoe’s offices in London and Singapore where Friedland  (pictured here in a 2009 handout photo) resides:

Turquoise also paid $17.8 million in severance payments to the former management team and booked a non-cash charge of $24 million related to the acceleration of vesting stock options held by former management, it said.

Rio Tinto owns 51% and took full management control of the company in April in a deal that led to the resignation of the board and Friedland who had been advancing Oyu Tolgoi for the past eight years

Friedland still controls about 10% or 100 million shares of Turquoise Hill which holds majority stakes in SouthGobi, a Mongolian coal miner, Ivanhoe Australia and half of a private Kazakhstan gold project.

Ivanhoe became Turquoise Hill earlier in August – the company first listed in  Toronto in 1999 – and since the trading symbol change the counter has lost 5% in value.

On Monday Turquoise Hill was worth $8.5 billion – down more than 35% since Friedland quit the company – affording an $850 million value to his stake.

In March Forbes pegged Friedland’s wealth at $2.3 billion placing him outside of the top 500 richest people on the planet.

The stock – a favourite of resource stock investors – has been  on a wild ride since hitting an all time high above $28 in January last year affording it a peak market cap of $20 billion.

Read more about Friedland, his friend Steve Jobs and how he earned his nickname >>

Click here for a rundown of mining’s richest billionaires >>


Oyu Tolgoi start-up, costs under threat from Mongolia–China stand-off >>

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