BSG Resources, the mining company founded by Israeli diamond billionaire Beny Steinmetz, has entered administration.
Administration is comparable to Chapter 11 in the United States.
Based on the island of Guernsey, BSG Resources mines copper, iron ore, diamonds, and gold. Among its notable assets are the Koidu diamond mine in Sierra Leone.
Spokesperson Bobby Morse told JCK: “Only the top company has gone into voluntary administration—all of the underlying subsidiaries are running as normal and remain fully solvent. There will be no changes whatsoever in relation to any of the diamond-related (or other) operation.”
Company director Dag Cramer told Reuters that the company, currently mired in litigation, wanted to protect itself from any “adverse or malicious development[s].
“It’s very, very simple,” the news agency quoted Cramer as saying. “This is not a liquidation. This is not a bankruptcy. We have voluntarily put ourselves into administration.”
The move comes as BSG Resources faces a number of controversies, including ongoing legal headaches relating to the miner’s one-time claim to the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea. The company lost the rights to the project, considered the world’s biggest untapped iron ore reserve, in 2014.
In April 2017, Steinmetz sued fellow billionaire George Soros for $10 billion, charging that Soros-funded human rights groups had perpetrated a “smear campaign” against him that caused him to lose his claim to the iron ore project. Soros denied the charges and has bid to have the suit dismissed.
Steinmetz himself has seen occasional controversies. In 2016, he was arrested by Israeli police in conjunction with a reportedly bribery investigation. He was placed under house arrest, and then released. In August 2017, he was reportedly detained again. He has repeatedly maintained his innocence and called the charges against him “nothing” and “political.”
Top: sorting diamonds at the Koidu diamond mine (image via Koidu Holdings)