Govt panel says Guinea should strip BSGR, Vale of rights to iron deposit

viernes 7 de marzo de 2014 14:51 GYT

* Strategic committee has to make final decision

* BSGR denies charges, may start international arbitration

* Vale risks losing more than $1 billion invested in Guinea

By Silvia Antonioli, David Rohde and Saliou Samb

LONDON/CONAKRY, March 7 (Reuters) - A technical committee in Guinea has recommended the government strip mining firm BSG Resources (BSGR) and its partner Vale of the rights to exploit a giant iron ore deposit because the panel alleges BSGR obtained the concession through corruption, sources close to the matter said.

The latest development in a saga surrounding one of the world's largest mining deposits casts uncertainty over the future of the sought-after Simandou, a mine that could help one of Africa's poorest countries to prosper.

It also raises concerns over the position of Brazilian miner Vale, which, according to a source close to the company, has spent more than $1 billion in its Guinean venture and risks seeing its investment and efforts wiped away.

BSGR vigorously denied the allegations of wrongdoing and said it believes the committee's procedure is part of a predetermined and orchestrated plan to expropriate the company's mining rights.

"The review has been conducted throughout without any respect for basic due process and procedural fairness," a BSGR spokesman said on Friday.   Continuación...