Brazil probing Anglo iron ore divestment as senator cries foul

Friday, February 17, 2017

Officials in Brazil are probing the 2013 sale of iron ore assets by Britain's Anglo American to Swiss group Zamin Ferrous, senate news service Agência Senado reported.

The Amapá state assets were offloaded in a deal worth US$266mn.

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Brazilian senator Randolfe Rodrigues (pictured) alleges Anglo divested, in a "collusive" manner, to preserve its image following a fatal accident at one of its floating docks at Santana port in March 2013 in which three people died.

"There is strong evidence that this transfer process was fraudulent," Rodrigues was quoted as saying, without providing further details.

Anglo has denied the allegation.

"It was nothing more than a deck of marked cards, in which Anglo would get rid of the burden by preserving its 'good image' in the international market, passing the assets to an iron company to take over the dismantling," Rodrigues was quoted as saying.

Zamin filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after having its Amapá assets frozen the year before.

Rodrigues said federal and state prosecutors and the ministry of labor were probing the transaction and that he would file a complaint with the International Chamber of Commerce.


Anglo American's press office in Brazil told BNamericas: "The sale of the Amapá project to Zamin was a commercial operation carried out between two totally different groups, which followed strict standards of governance and transparency.

"In July 2012, Anglo American announced that it did not intend to maintain this asset in the long term."

Zamin's offices in São Paulo could not be reached for comment.