BSGR sues George Soros over loss of Guinea iron project

The Simandou iron ore project. Photo by Rio Tinto Simandou

On April 14th, BSG Resources filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against George Soros and is asking for $10 billion in damages based on allegations that the billionaire’s “illegal conduct destroyed” the group’s investment in Guinea’s Simandou deposit.

According to Bloomberg, the company controlled by Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz says Soros’ defamation campaign stripped them of rights to the African iron ore deposit and other business opportunities around the world.

Steinmetz was arrested in Israel in December of 2016 on suspicion of bribing government officials in Guinea to obtain rights over Simandou. After the period of restriction elapsed in January, he was released without charges.

Now, the diamond tycoon wants to flip the coin. His controlled company’s suit says that Soros and his controlled entities influenced government officials in Guinea to hinder BSGR’s plans. It also says that the Hungarian-American business mogul had no economic interest in Guinea and was “motivated solely by malice.”

BSGR sues George Soros over loss of Guinea iron project

In detail, BSGR’s complaint says Soros was driven by a grudge that dates back to 1998 around a business in Russia. It adds that that was the reason behind Soros-funded companies’ decision to fabricate reports about Steinmetz’s alleged payment of millions of dollars in bribes to obtain permits to one of the world’s richest iron ore sites.

The Guinean government –Bloomberg’s account adds- used those reports to forbid BSG Resources Ltd. from claiming rights to the Simandou deposit in April of 2014.

Simandou has over two billion tonnes of reserves and some of the highest grades in the industry (66% – 68% Fe which attracts premium pricing).

The same day the lawsuit was filed in New York, different media outlets including Bloomberg, The Telegraph, and Reuters tried contacting Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, but he didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments made outside of regular business hours.

This is the latest chapter in a long, ongoing battle that has also “shaken to the core” Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto (LON:RIO). Back in November, the world’s second largest mining company unveiled emails sent by some of its executives in May 2011 related to a dubious payment made to an external consultant working on the firm’s Simandou project.

The revelations triggered several probes as well as a couple of management shakeups, including the polemic dismissal of the company’s’ energy and minerals boss Alan Davies.