"Without admitting or denying the findings, Kinross agreed to a cease-and-desist order, a penalty of US$950,000 and undertakings to report on its remedial steps for a period of one year," the SEC said.
The SEC said Kinross had acquired its two African subsidiaries in a $7.1 billion transaction in 2010 but took almost three years to implement adequate anti-corruption compliance programmes and internal accounting controls, despite multiple internal audits flagging widespread deficiencies.
"Even after implementing the controls, Kinross Gold failed to maintain them," the SEC alleged, referring to examples including the company awarding a lucrative logistics contract to a company preferred by Mauritanian government officials, despite concerns the company was a high-cost provider with poor technical capabilities.
Kinross said it had cooperated fully with the SEC investigation and was pleased to resolve the matter, adding it had taken steps to improve and strengthen its compliance programme and internal accounting controls and practices.
"The cease and desist order with the SEC makes no findings of bribery by the company but is instead premised on allegations of various deficiencies in Kinross' internal accounting controls and practices," Kinross said.
The company said the US Department of Justice had closed a parallel investigation in November and had declined to pursue the matter.
Kinross has projects in Mauritania, Ghana, Chile, Brazil, Russia and the US and said it was committed to operating in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
Shares in the company rose 20c or 4.03% to C$5.16 yesterday, up from a 52-week low of $4.44 reached a month ago.