Kinross Gold, a Canada-based gold mining company, said last week that it is under investigation by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission concerning allegations of improper payments made to government officials and certain internal control deficiencies at its West Africa mining operations.
Kinross said it first received information regarding the allegations in August 2013. "Kinross takes such allegations very seriously and action was immediately taken in accordance with Kinross' whistleblower policy," the company stated. "External legal counsel was immediately retained to conduct an objective internal investigation into the allegations."
In March and December 2014, and July 2015, Kinross received subpoenas from the SEC seeking information and documents on "substantially the same subjects as had previously been raised," according to the company. In December 2014, Kinross received similar requests for information from the Justice Department, it said.
"It is important to note that the SEC subpoenas expressly state that: 'This investigation is confidential and nonpublic and should not be construed as an indication by the Commission or its staff that any violation has occurred, nor as a reflection upon any person, entity or security,'" the company said. Kinross added that it's "fully cooperating" with the agencies and "continues to diligently pursue its own internal investigation."