Mining companies in Guinea have locked down their operations and recalled expatriates following an outbreak of the Ebola virus, Reuters reported in an article republished by the Mail and Guardian website.

The expatriates have been transferred temporarily to their home countries, according to a spokesperson for Brazilian iron ore miner Vale, which has a project in Guinea.

Five new suspected infections were reported in the last 24 hours, said the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO), bringing the total to 127. Of these, there have been 83 fatalities, Reuters confirmed.

Simandou investment in danger

Meanwhile the Financial Times reports that Vale fears it stands to lose its entire investment in its Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea, pending a government review.

BSG Resources, the mining arm of Israeli tycoon Beny Steinmetz’s family conglomerate, sold a 51% stake in its Guinean assets to Vale in 2010 in a $2.5bn deal, under which $500m was paid upfront by the Brazilian miner.

The project has subsequently been shrouded by accusations that BSGR used bribes to acquire the mining rights.

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