Doug Ritchie

From Global Energy Monitor

Doug Ritchie was appointed as Group Executive Strategy for Rio Tinto in September 2012[1] but was sacked by the company in January 2013 over the purchase of coal projects in Mozambique.

Mozambique purchase

In December 2010 Rio Tinto proposed a $A3.9 billion takeover of Riversdale Mining, a small Australian company with title to major coal projects in Mozambique. At the time Ritchie, who was Rio Tinto chief executive Energy, stated that "Rio Tinto's extensive experience in infrastructure and large project development combined with our significant financial capacity means that we are well placed to take Riversdale's asset base through its next phase of development. We believe Rio Tinto is one of the few groups in the world with the capabilities, values and incentives to develop the projects quickly and to a world-class standard, bringing considerable benefit to the people of Mozambique."[2]

Sacked over company's Mozambique coal expedition

In mid-January 2013 Rio Tinto announced that it had written off US$3 billion relating to Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique (RTCM) investments. In a media release Rio Tinto stated that "the development of infrastructure to support the coal assets is more challenging than Rio Tinto originally anticipated. Rio Tinto sought to transport coal by barge along the Zambezi River, but this option did not receive formal approvals.These infrastructure constraints, combined with a downward revision to estimates of recoverable coking coal volumes on the RTCM tenements, have led to a reassessment of the overall scale and ramp up schedule of RTCM, and consequently to the impairment announced today. Rio Tinto continues to engage with the Government of Mozambique on all transport infrastructure options."[3]

The release also stated that the "Rio Tinto Board fully acknowledges that a write-down of this scale in relation to the relatively recent Mozambique acquisition is unacceptable."[3]

At the same time the company announced that it had sacked Tom Albanese, the company's chief executive, and Doug Ritchie, "who led the acquisition and integration of the Mozambique coal assets in his previous role as Energy chief executive." Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said in the media release that "the Rio Tinto Board fully acknowledges that a write-down of this scale in relation to the relatively recent Mozambique acquisition is unacceptable."[3]


Ritchie was the Managing Director of Rio Tinto Coal Australia. (Rio Tinto)

"Doug was appointed to his current position in 2006 but has been involved in the resources sector for 30 years. He has experience in energy, exploration, aluminium, industrial minerals and diamonds...

"Doug is also Managing Director for Coal & Allied Industries Limited." [4]


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  1. "Doug Ritchie: Group executive, Strategy", Rio Tinto website, accessed January 2013.
  2. Rio Tinto, "Recommended A$16 per share cash offer by Rio Tinto for Riversdale", Media Release, December 23, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rio Tinto, "Rio Tinto impairments and management changes", Media Release, January 17, 2013.
  4. Doug Ritchie, Queensland Resources Council, accessed August 13, 2007.
  5. Premier announces clean coal council members, Queensland Business Review, accessed August 13, 2007.

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