A federal judge in Manhattan has allowed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to proceed with a lawsuit accusing the multinational mining firm Rio Tinto and two former executives of fraud in connection with its failed investment in a Mozambique coal project.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York on Monday denied Rio Tinto’s motion to dismiss the enforcement action, finding that the SEC had supported some claims that the company, its former Chief Executive Thomas Albanese and former Chief Financial Officer Guy Robert Elliott had misled the firm’s directors and investors about the prospects for the $3.7 billion venture, starting in May 2012.

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