Former investor accusing Vale of wrongdoing in failed African project

Former investor accusing Vale of wrongdoing in failed African project

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Benjamin Steinmetz, a former investor in Vale, reportedly presented two accusations against iron ore producer Vale in Brazil, according to a media report by Valor. Steinmetz wants Brazilian prosecutors to investigate Vale for corruption and influence peddling in a failed iron ore joint-venture (JV) in Simandou, Africa.

Steinmetz wants to prove that Vale was aware of the wrongdoings the company has denied it knew at the time the JV was annulled by the Guinean government.

Another media report by Piaui said Steinmetz hired Black Cube, a private espionage company, to set up fake consulting meetings with former Vale executives to obtain “proof” that Vale was aware of wrongdoing in the African project.

The spies reportedly paid for first class flights, meals at expensive restaurants, and stays at five-star hotels to convince the two former Vale executives to share intel on the company’s involvement in Simandou, Africa. The former executives were promised consulting projects of about $10 million.

Earlier this year, the UK High Court of Justice froze $1.8 billion in assets from Steinmetz and five former BSG Resources (BSGR) executives. An earlier court decision in April 2019 ordered BSGR to pay Vale $1.2 billion. No payments have been made so far.

The court ruled at the time BSGR induced Vale to set up a joint venture (JV) to explore an iron ore site in the Simandou region in Guinea. The Guinean government annulled the iron ore concession in 2014, following corruption charges against BSGR.

Vale paid $500 million in 2010 to co-own the iron ore project.

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