* Says can develop Guinea projects quicker than other majors
* Wants to cooperate with other majors in Guinea
* Sources said Glencore expressed interest in Simandou
By Silvia Antonioli and Alexandra Reza
LONDON, Aug 5 Miner and commodity trader
Glencore has expressed interest in iron deposits in
Guinea, a presentation obtained by Reuters shows, although the
company said it had not pitched for a stake in Simandou, the
country's largest deposit.
Glencore is the latest mining major looking to invest in
iron ore assets in Guinea. Most interest is focused on Simandou,
one of the world's biggest deposits.
Any potential investors in Simandou are treading carefully,
Israeli-owned BSG Resources, which was stripped of its
license to develop part of Simandou following a Guinean
corruption investigation, is seeking arbitration and has
threatened to sue companies that invest in its former license
Three sources close to the government said London-listed
Glencore had indicated its interest in investing in Simandou, in
a meeting with government officials in Conakry in June.
A copy of a power point presentation, which the sources said
a Glencore representative delivered at the meeting, includes a
reference to Glencore having the financial and technical ability
to develop big projects in the region and "the willingness to
proceed very quickly together with the government to the
exploitation phase of iron ore projects".
A spokesman for Glencore declined to say whether any
presentation was made to officials or to comment on the document
obtained by Reuters. But he said the company had not made any
presentation expressing interest in the Simandou mine.
The presentation does say that Glencore would be well placed
to cooperate with other companies that hold interests in
Simandou, including Rio Tinto .
Glencore, whose exposure to iron ore is much smaller than
that of rivals Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton
, has in the past been critical of rivals for
pursuing costly greenfield projects.
It has also criticised them for producing large additional
volumes of iron ore, which have driven down prices by almost a
third this year.
In the presentation, the Swiss-based company says it is keen
to become one of the top five producers of iron ore through
projects in Africa.
"Iron ore is an absolute priority for Glencore, because it
is the only sector where the company wants to strengthen its
position noticeably," the company said in the presentation.
"Glencore goes against the trend of the trio (BHP, Vale and
Rio), because it wants to develop the Guinean projects quickly,"
(Additional reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer and Daniel Flynn;
editing by Jane Baird)