UPDATE 2-Guinea president - Vale did no wrong, can bid to reclaim mining permits

miércoles 30 de abril de 2014 11:01 GYT

* Vale lost permits after partner accused of corruption

* Permit covered giant Simandou iron ore deposit

* BSG Resources denied allegations, seeking arbitration (Adds Conde quote, no comment from Vale, details)

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, April 30 (Reuters) - Guinea's President Alpha Conde said on Wednesday he hoped Brazilian miner Vale would bid to reclaim two iron ore permits, because the company had not been involved in the alleged corruption that led to their cancellation.

Guinea cancelled the two mining concessions jointly held by Vale and BSG Resources earlier this month, after a government-appointed technical committee accused BSGR of obtaining the rights through corruption.

BSGR, the mining branch of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's conglomerate, has denied the allegations and said it will seek international arbitration.

Conde told reporters during a visit to Geneva on Wednesday that Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, had done nothing wrong.

"We will launch an open and transparent bidding process ... Vale was not involved in the corruption or aware of it and we strongly hope that Vale will participate," Conde said.   Continuación...