Motsepe eyes Guinea's iron ore industry

Patrice Motsepe. (AFP)

Patrice Motsepe. (AFP)

Motsepe, the executive chairperson of African Rainbow Minerals, told reporters after meeting Guinea's President Alpha Condé on Friday.

Motsepe, South Africa's first black billionaire with assets estimated by Forbes magazine at $2.65-billion, said he was also looking at other sectors including transport and infrastructure.

"We are interested in iron ore and in infrastructure related to iron ore," Motsepe said without giving further details.

His diversified mining group ARM has interests in iron ore, coal, nickel and manganese and has announced plans to expand its operations.

An investment by Motsepe would give a boost to Guinea's mining industry after moves by Condé to revise the country's mining code – coupled with a violent political stand-off over legislative elections – have dampened investor sentiment.

It also comes at a time when Guinea is investigating alleged corruption in the allocation of mining contracts, alleging that Israeli mining firm BSG Resources – owned by billionaire Beny Steinmetz – bribed senior officials to win a licence to develop the northern half of the Simandou iron mine.

BSG Resources has strongly denied paying any bribes for its concession.

Global miners Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Brazil's Vale have blamed uncertainty in the country as a reason for slowing billion of dollars of investments in the world's largest bauxite exporter, which also holds vast untapped iron ore, gold and diamond reserves. – Reuters


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