UPDATE 3-U.S. judge dismisses Rio Tinto lawsuit against Vale
(Updates with Vale comments)
By Alonso Soto and Brendan Pierson
BRASILIA/NEW YORK Nov 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday dismissed Rio Tinto's lawsuit accusing rival Vale and others of conspiring to misappropriate its mining rights in the Simandou region in Guinea.
Simandou has some of the world's most valuable iron ore deposits. Rio Tinto had said in its April 2014 lawsuit that Vale had conspired with Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and BSG Resources.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said on Friday that Rio Tinto had waited too long to file the lawsuit after losing the mining rights in December 2008.
Under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, a U.S. anti-conspiracy law, the Anglo-Australian company would have had to sue within four years, the judge said.
"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 said in a statement. "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."
Vale said it was very satisfied with the decision.
"From the start, Vale has kept the most solid conviction that those allegations were groundless," Vale said in an emailed statement. Continuación...