Mr Steinmetz’s business relationship has been investigated in several other countries, including the United States, Romania and Israel. His legal troubles began after his group BSG Resources defeated Australian mining company Rio Tinto in 2008 for half of the exploration rights for iron ore mining in Guinea, which has some of the richest deposits in the world. The company sold half of that stake to Brazilian mining giant Vale in a $ 2.5 billion deal.
In 2014, the Guinean government, following a review launched by democratically elected President Alpha Condé, accused Mr Steinmetz’s company of corruption, paying millions through a representative of Ms Touré. The US Department of Justice is also investigating Mr Steinmetz̵
Mr Steinmetz’s company struck a deal with the Guinean government in 2019 to abandon the project, but the group remains embroiled in legal disputes with Vale and Rio Tinto, who claim to have lost money from the venture.
Ms Duparc, of Public Eye, called for a “public trial” on mining group practices in general. In a statement, the group said the allegations against BSG Resources demonstrated how “tax havens can be used to cover up suspicious – or even illegal – activities in countries with poor governance and regulation.”
Mr. Steinmetz’s family has ties to Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law. In 2017, The New York Times reported that a company investing money in Mr. Steinmetz’s brother and longtime business partner, Daniel, along with his son Raz, have partnered with Kushner Companies in dozens of apartment buildings around Manhattan and Jersey City. .
Civil society organizations have lobbied for proposals that would add responsibility to Swiss-based businesses for their actions abroad. One such proposal, which would make Swiss-based companies responsible for human rights abuses and environmental damage caused by their subsidiaries abroad, failed in a referendum last year.