Panama city. Picture: EPA/ALEJANDRO BOLIVAR

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FM Edition:

BSG Resources, which has been operating the Koidu diamond mine in Sierra Leone for 14 years through its subsidiary OCTÉA, clarifies that "Panama Papers: Bracelet of business" was a gross misinterpretation of BSG Resources and its associated companies.

Koidu is one of the few hard rock mechanised diamond mines in production in West Africa and uses advanced technology involving highly skilled indigenous workers. OCTÉA has invested over US$340m in Koidu to date, and recently approved an $80m investment programme to extend the life of the mine for at least eight more years, providing sustainable jobs for over 1 000 Sierra Leonean employees.

As the biggest single employer in the country, OCTÉA generates vital royalty and tax revenues to a country which has been devastated by the global mining depression and the effects of the Ebola virus. OCTÉA confirms it has paid all of its tax obligations, licence fees and debts to all suppliers.

In relation to BSG Resources’ operations in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, the allegation that BSG Resources was involved in bribery has no merit whatsoever, a fact fully vindicated in November 2015 when the RICO case brought by Rio Tinto against BSG Resources was comprehensively dismissed by a New York court.

The statement that Onyx and Pentler are companies owned by BSG Resources is also without merit and is categorically untrue.

BSG Resources and its associated companies are committed to improving the wellbeing of the communities in which they operate, a vision sadly not shared by all of those in the global extractive industries.

Bobby Morse
Senior partner at Buchanan