RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Kazakh mining firm ENRC on Monday sued Indian billionaire Pramod Agarwal’s mining firm Zamin for the repayment of a $65 million loan, the latest chapter in a legal battle between Indian and Kazakh tycoons over a Brazilian iron ore project.
The latest filing in a British court comes after a Zamin subsidiary in June sued ENRC, a company owned by a trio of Kazakh billionaires and the Kazakh government. The lawsuit said ENRC failed to pay a final $220 million tranche of a $670 million purchase of the Brazilian iron ore project.
ENRC denies it owes any money to Zamin’s subsidiary, Ardila Investments N.V.
In response, ENRC is now requesting repayment of $65 million it says was loaned to Ardila as part of the original sale of the Pedra de Ferro iron ore project in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. ENRC says the loan was due on June 30.
The sale of Pedra de Ferro was agreed upon in 2010, when the iron ore price was more than double the current $68.60 per tonne.
ENRC was delisted from the London Stock Exchange by its original founders last year after being hit by boardroom troubles, corruption investigations and weaker commodity prices.
Zamin was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer in Rio de Janeiro and Silvia Antonioli in London; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)