Rio, whose iron ore contract talks with Chinese steel mills have stalled, was “surprised” by the authorities’ action and is “not aware of any evidence that would support such an investigation,” spokesman Nick Cobban said in an e-mail today. The company hasn’t been able to contact the workers.
An Australian Rio Tinto executive is being detained in China on suspicion of espionage and stealing state secrets, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says.
Mr Smith said on Wednesday Australian officials were told that the executive, Stern Hu, together with three other executives from the global mining company had been detained.
He said consular officials had learned on Sunday of the detention on "espionage and stealing state secrets" allegations in talks with Chinese officials in China and with the acting Chinese ambassador in Canberra.
Could this be in retaliation to the