UPDATE 2-Rio Tinto sues Vale, Steinmetz, BSGR over Guinea iron deposit rights

miércoles 30 de abril de 2014 17:23 GYT

* Relates to Rio Tinto loss of rights over Simandou deposit

* Steinmetz and BSGR dismiss charge, Vale no comment

* Development paralysed by battles over concessions (adds details, comment from Guinea government)

By Silvia Antonioli

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Mining giant Rio Tinto <RIO. L> said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint against competitor Vale, Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and BSG Resources (BSGR) over valuable mining concessions in Guinea.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, relates to Rio Tinto's loss in 2008 of half the rights to Simandou, in Guinea, one of the world's most valuable iron ore deposits.

Rio Tinto alleged in its complaint that the defendants devised a fraudulent scheme to steal its rights over the northern half of Simandou. Steinmetz and BSGR dismissed the charge and Vale declined to comment.

Exploiting Simandou could help one of Africa's poorest countries to prosper but the mine development has been paralysed by battles over the concessions.

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto said in its complaint it had spent hundreds of millions trying to develop Simandou until 2008, when former President Lansana Conte's government revoked its permit on the northern half of the deposit and then transferred it to BSGR, the mining branch of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's conglomerate.   Continuación...