BSG Resources, the mining arm of billionaire Beny Steinmetz's businesses, is caught up in legal disputes in relation to the vast Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.
As well as facing legal action, BSGR, which denies any wrong-doing, is suing financier George Soros for $10 billion (7.20 billion pounds) in damages over lost contracts. Soros has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed. A judge put the case on hold in November.
Dag Cramer, who is a director of BSGR, said going into administration was to protect the company against "any adverse or malicious development out of our control".
"It's very, very simple. This is not a liquidation. This is not a bankruptcy. We have voluntarily put ourselves into administration," he told Reuters.
He said he would be staying on as a director and the technical procedure would not affect daily operations of subsidiaries or the company's determination to "go the distance" with its arbitration over Guinea.
BSG Resources is a private company registered in Guernsey whose subsidiaries include the Koidu diamond mine in Sierra Leone.
A BSGR spokesman told Reuters that Steinmetz does not sit on BSGR's board or have an executive role, but "is the beneficiary of the foundation that owns BSG Resources".
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Alexander Smith)