A US judge has dismissed Rio Tinto‘s lawsuit against Vale and other parties, which accused them of stealing its undeveloped iron ore project in Guinea’s Simandou region.

In April 2014, Rio Tinto accused Brazilian mining company Vale of conspiring with Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and BSG Resources.

However, US district judge Richard Berman said that Rio Tinto lost the mining rights in December 2008 and filed the lawsuit after a long period has passed.

Berman said that the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, a US anti-conspiracy law requires a company to sue within four years.

"Rio Tinto is free to both appeal Judge Berman’s decision and pursue its claims in other forums, and is actively looking at all options."

Reuters quoted Rio Tinto saying in a statement: "Judge Berman’s decision was focused on a narrow point of law and he did not rule on the evidence Rio Tinto has been gathering in the case.

"Rio Tinto is free to both appeal Judge Berman’s decision and pursue its claims in other forums, and is actively looking at all options."

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

Rio Tinto said the accused parties stole its rights over the northern half of Simandou by devising a fraudulent scheme.

In 2008, the then Guinea President Lansana Conte’s Government cancelled its permit on the deposit and transferred it to BSG later on. Up until then, Rio Tinto spent millions developing the deposit and increased the resource size to 2.25 billion tonnes.

Following the transfer, BSG offloaded 51% of its Guinean assets to Vale in 2010. At that time, the companies created a joint venture valued at $2.5bn named VBG. Before Rio Tinto filed its lawsuit, the government stripped the companies of their rights over Simandou and the Zogota deposits.