Israeli authorities have placed Israeli diamond and mining mogul Beny Steinmetz under house arrest over allegations of bribery and corruption in Guinea linked to his BSG Resources (BGSR) mining company. One of Israel’s wealthiest men, Steinmetz has been arrested in Israel over claims that he paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure mineral assets in one of the world’s poorest nations.
Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto will “robustly” defend itself against any legal action by BSG Resources (BSGR) - owned by the notorious Israeli mining figure Beny Steinmetz - which is reportedly planning to sue the company over its alleged contribution to the loss of BSG’s mining rights for the Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea, writes Mining Weekly. BSG is reportedly seeking billions of dollars in damages.
Sierra Leone, the seventh largest diamond producing country in Africa by volume and eighth by value, increased its diamond production by 19% in the first half of 2016, according to Sierra Leone newspaper Awoko. Diamond production in the first six months of 2016 was 359,080 carats valued at $101.9 million, compared to 290,380 carats valued at $60 million produced in the first six months of 2015. The country ended up producting 500,000 carats in 2015, good for $154,253,129. The price per carat fell a full $40 compared to H1 2015, from $324 to $284.
Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.
The Indian Express has written that one of the largest diamond trading firms in the world, Antwerp-based Rosy Blue, has been linked to at least 24 offshore companies in the Panama Papers, "and these are shown to have been registered in the tax havens of British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Anguilla and Mauritius ... Most companies," the paper writes, "were registered by Harshad Ramniklal Mehta, with a capital of $50,000 each, between 2004 and 2008.