Guinea

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A Swiss court on Friday convicted the French-Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz on charges of corrupting foreign public officials and forging documents, in a trial over his successful bid to reap lavish iron ore resources in the West African nation of Guinea, the Associated Press reported. Steinmetz, one of the richest people in Israel, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $56.5 million fine. The case centered on alleged payouts of millions of dollars to a former wife of an ex-president of Guinea, Lansana Conté, who died in 2008.

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Billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s mining company sought bankruptcy protection in the U.S., two months after losing a $2 billion arbitration award to Brazilian mining giant Vale SA, Bloomberg News reported. The court filing by BSG Resources Ltd. on Monday could stymie Vale’s effort to enforce the award, which stems from an ill-fated joint venture with BSGR at the Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea. The government stripped their venture of its rights to Simandou following a probe that found licenses were obtained through corruption. BSGR lists its only U.S.

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The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it will provide a total of $100 million in debt relief and another $160 million in low-interest financing for the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deadly Ebola epidemic has slammed the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as the health disaster slashed state revenues and crisis costs overwhelmed the governments’ budgets.
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