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UPDATE 1-UK's SFO says investigating Rio Tinto's Guinea operations

(Adds background, shares in United States)

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - Britain's anti-fraud regulator said it has opened an investigation into how the miner Rio Tinto conducted business in the Republic of Guinea.

"The Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into suspected corruption in the conduct of business in the Republic of Guinea by the Rio Tinto group, its employees and others associated with it," the SFO said in a statement on Monday.

U.S. listed shares in Rio Tinto fell 1.4 percent to $43.52 after news of the SFO investigation.

"Rio Tinto will fully co-operate with the Serious Fraud Office and any other relevant authorities, as it has done since it self-reported in November 2016," the company said in a statement on Monday.

Last November Rio Tinto said that it had become aware of emails that referred to unexplained payments of $10.5 million in connection with the Simandou iron ore project in the West African nation. (Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Andrew MacAskill and Alexander Smith)