The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Guinea president says no wrongdoing by Brazil mining firm, can reapply for iron ore deposits

  • Print

GENEVA - Guinean President Alpha Conde absolved the Brazilian mining giant Vale of wrongdoing Wednesday and pledged to steer clear of corruption as his nation opens one of the largest untapped iron ore deposits in the world.

On a visit to Geneva, Conde said Vale did nothing wrong and was free to reapply to try to acquire rights to exploit the Simandou and Zogota deposits — a deal worth billions of dollars. The government this month cancelled the rights held by the VBG, a joint venture between Vale and BSG Resources, because of corruption, Conde said.

The first democratically elected leader in Guinea's 55-year history, Conde said he was in Switzerland to court more international support for his domestic reforms. He narrowly won election in 2010 and narrowly survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

A mineral-rich but deeply impoverished country, Guinea has long endured corruption while trying to exploit its natural resources.

Conde said Vale "was not part of the corruption" that remains under U.S. investigation and that led the West African country to revoke the mining licenses for Vale and Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's BSG Resources.

He said his government would welcome a new bid from Vale, but added it had no preference among bidder and would select a winner in a "transparent and open" process.

A Guinea government report said BSG Resources had obtained the earlier licenses corruptly — which the company strongly denies. Some of the evidence cited in the report, which didn't implicate Vale, came from FBI wiretaps.

American authorities have been investigating the deal for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and possible money laundering. In U.S. federal court in March, an associate of Steinmetz pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation.

BSG Resources has accused Conde's government of "relying on fabricated claims, compromised witnesses and illegitimate processes" to reward Conde's political allies with the promised mineral rights.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Drew Willy says team couldn't get anything going

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google