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3 Mar 2022

ABC News

Australian companies and investors scramble to cut ties with Russia

Australian miners and superannuation funds have started to sever their Russian ties, as a global push to isolate Moscow gathers pace.

Russian businessman Maxim Mayorets has agreed to step down from the board of Falcon Oil and Gas, which is a partner in Origin Energy's Beetaloo Basin gas project in the Northern Territory.

But resources heavyweight Rio Tinto continues to co-own one of Australia's largest alumina refineries, Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL), with Russian aluminium giant Rusal.

"We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and related sanctions," a Rio Tinto spokesman told AAP.

"We are confident that we have appropriate structures in place to ensure QAL's operations will not be disrupted."

Australia's sovereign Future Fund and the country's second-largest superannuation fund Aware Super have announced they will dump Russian assets.

The Future Fund says it will wind down its exposure to Russia, including assets not currently subject to divestment sanctions, as market conditions permit.


Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility spokesman Dan Gocher said the resignation of Mr Mayorets was "window dressing".

"Vekselberg stands to personally benefit from any successful exploration that Origin is conducting in the Beetaloo Basin," Mr Gocher said.