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AKIPRESS.COM - Companies controlled by Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz sued fellow billionaire George Soros, claiming he cost them at least $10 billion through a defamation campaign that stripped them of rights to an iron ore deposit in Guinea and other business opportunities around the world, Bloomberg reported.
Soros funded law firms, transparency groups, investigators and government officials in Guinea in a coordinated effort to ensure BSG Resources Ltd. lost the rights to the Simandou deposit in April 2014, BSGR said in a complaint filed Friday in Manhattan federal court.
After years of BSGR accusing Soros of propagating corruption allegations which resulted in its loss of Simandou, this is the first time it took direct legal action against him. In the complaint, BSGR alleges that Soros was driven by a grudge dating back to 1998 around a business in Russia and his alleged hostility towards Israel.
“To Soros, Steinmetz’s success, as well as his active, passionate promotion of Israeli life, business and culture are anathema," BSGR said in the complaint. “Soros is also well known for his long-standing animus toward the state of Israel.”
Soros’s spokesman Michael Vachon didn’t immediately respond to an email or messages left on his work and mobile phone outside of regular business hours.
Simandou, hailed by mining companies as the richest untapped iron ore site in the world, has also been the subject of numerous court fights. Rio Tinto Group sued Steinmetz, accusing him and BSGR of conspiring with Vale SA to steal the rights to the deposit. That lawsuit was thrown out in 2015 by a federal judge in New York. BSGR lawyers demanded billions of dollars in damages from Rio Tinto in December after Rio announced that it had informed law enforcement agencies of a $10.5 million consultancy payment to a friend of Guinea’s president.