China Resources (Holdings)

Mining deal allegations 'ridiculous', says CRP chief Song Lin

Transaction was a normal commercial activity that followed the law, says Song Lin

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 7:51am

China Resources Power (Holdings) chairman Song Lin has denied allegations filed with Hong Kong's graft-busters and commercial crime investigators of irregularities and corruption in the purchase of mining assets.

The accusations are false, Song said in a statement on the China Resources website yesterday, responding to media reports of the filings.

Some Hong Kong media even linked the matter with the mainland's leadership. Such reports are ridiculous
China Resources Power (Holdings) chairman Song Lin

"Some Hong Kong media even linked the matter with the mainland's leadership," he said. "Such reports are ridiculous."

Mainland whistle-blower Li Jianjun lodged complaints with the Independent Commission Against Corruption and commercial crime investigators on Monday.

These included fresh allegations against Song, former chairman of China Resources unit China Resources Power (CRP), and officials at the Shanxi Department of Land and Resources, saying those officials played a role in illicitly granting exploration rights in two mines to the assets' seller, Shanxi Jinye Coal Coking. The rights were subsequently transferred to Hong Kong-listed CRP.

Song said yesterday that the transaction was a normal commercial activity and that the process followed the law and regulations on the mainland and listing requirements in Hong Kong.

He said he would reserve the right to pursue legal action over such slanderous rumours.

Li said earlier that he would submit documents, including a contract for the deal, related asset valuation reports and other information to the ICAC.

A former Shanxi investigative journalist, Li made the complaints as a hearing began in the High Court in a lawsuit by six CRP minority shareholders. They allege that 20 former and current CRP directors failed in their fiduciary duty to protect the interest of shareholders by causing CRP to buy two coal mines without valid exploration rights and failing to cancel the deal and recover money from the seller.

They claimed official documents showed that the rights expired in 2007 and 2009, and therefore the seller, Shanxi Jinye, had no right to sell them. They are seeking unspecified damages.

Li claimed Jinye did not have proper rights to the mines before it sold them to CRP, since state-owned China United Coal Bed Methane had claimed rights on the mines after Jinye's rights expired. He claimed this was uncovered by a National Audit Office investigation.

He also alleged that corrupt officials in the Shanxi Department of Land and Resources helped Jinye reobtain the rights illegally. They were finally transferred to CRP on July 25.