Rio Tinto Plc sued Vale SA and Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and his BSG Resources Ltd., saying they conspired to steal rights to the world’s biggest untapped iron-ore deposit by bribing officials in Guinea.
Rio Tinto Group , the world’s third- largest mining company, may lose its Guinean mining license should it fail to hand over documentation for its Simandou iron ore project, Mines and Geology Minister Mahmoud Thiam said.
Guinea does not recognize Rio Tinto Group’s agreement to sell a $1.35 billion stake in the Simandou iron ore deposit to Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., known as Chalco, Mahmoud Thiam, Guinea;s mines minister, said in an interview in Conakry, the capital, today.
Rio Tinto Group said it would be interested in regaining control of disputed iron-rich ground in Guinea it was stripped of in 2008, prompting the recipient of the land to claim Rio has no viable plan for its development.
Guinea said it will exercise a right to buy a fifth of Rio Tinto Group ’s Simandou project, described by the company as the world’s top undeveloped iron-ore deposit, as a dispute over ownership of the West African site escalates.
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second- largest mining company, will fail to meet a targeted 2015 start date for production from the $20 billion Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea, according to the nation’s mines minister.
Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. , the nation’s biggest producer of the metal, agreed to pay $1.35 billion for a stake in Rio Tinto Group’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, making its first investment in the commodity.
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