BSGR files lawsuit against Guinean Government over iron ore mining permits

7 May 2014 (Last Updated May 7th, 2014 18:30)

BSG Resources (BSGR) has filed an arbitration suit against the Government of Guinea for revoking its mining rights in the Zogota and Simandou iron ore deposits in the south-east of the country.

BSG Resources (BSGR) has filed an arbitration suit against the Government of Guinea for revoking its mining rights for the Zogota and Simandou iron ore deposits in the south-east of the country.

The mining unit of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz said it initiated arbitration proceedings with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) seeking compensation for mining agreements, as well as damages occurring from the revocation of the interests.

BSGR said in a statement: "Anyone, whether it be the Guinean Government, Vale, Rio Tinto or anyone else who has negotiated an interest in Simandou or does so in the future, will be dealing unlawfully in BSGR's property."

"BSGR will take immediate steps to sue those parties who wrongfully interfere in its lawful interests."

"In such circumstances BSGR will take immediate steps to sue those parties who wrongfully interfere in its lawful interests."

A government spokeswoman said that the government had not been formally notified of BSGR's claim and will not comment until a notification is received and examined.

In April, the Guinean Government cancelled the iron ore concessions held by VBG, BSGR's joint venture with Vale, following a report by a committee which stated that BSGR had secured the rights to part of Simandou through corruption.

In the same month, Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto sued Vale and BSGR in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing them of a conspiracy to steal the rights of Simandou blocks one and two iron ore mine.

Rio Tinto had previously held the rights for Simandou, however, part of its license was revoked and awarded to BSGR in 2008.

According to a Reuters report earlier this month, Vale launched legal action against BSGR in the London Court of International Arbitration claiming part of the $1.1bn it has allegedly lost, due to the suspension of its mining rights in Guinea.

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