Senegal wins court case against Arcelor Mittal -government

DAKAR, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Senegal has won a case before an international tribunal to rescind a $2.2 billion deal with ArcelorMittal after the steelmaker suspended work on an iron ore mine in the West African nation, a government spokesman said.

Abdoulaye Latif Coulibaly said the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court in Paris had ruled that Senegal was within its rights to cancel the 2007 deal with Arcelor Mittal for the Faleme mine because the company had failed to keep its commitments.

“The tribunal in Paris ruled that Senegal was no longer bound on a contractual basis to ArcelorMittal,” Coulibaly told Reuters.

He said the court had not yet ruled on Senegal’s request for $750 million in damages.

ArcelorMittal was not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for the court in Paris declined to disclose details of the arbitration.

ArcelorMittal had initially planned to invest $2.2 billion in the project, including building a new port near the capital of Dakar and a 750 km (406 mile) railway line linking it to the mine in the country’s far east.

The mine is estimated to contain 750 million tonnes of reserves.

However, the project was suspended after the global economic crisis struck. Senegalese President Macky Sall, who took office last year, is trying to revive the economy of the West African nation.