Glencore Plc paid more than $100 million previously owed to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining business to a company controlled by billionaire investor Dan Gertler, according to advocacy group Global Witness.
It’s the first time the value of the payments made to Gertler have been made public, after London-based Global Witness reported in November that government-owned Gecamines signed over its royalties from the Kamoto copper project in southeastern Congo to Gertler in January 2015. Gertler’s privately held Fleurette Group said the payments were made on instruction from Gecamines to help repay a loan.
Glencore’s Katanga Mining Ltd. made the royalty and contractual bonus payments over the past four years to Africa Horizons Investments Ltd., a unit of Fleurette, Global Witness said in a report published Friday. Glencore confirmed the payments to Gertler’s company in a letter to the advocacy group. In previous filings, Katanga Mining either said the payments went to Gecamines or didn’t specify the recipients.
“The discrepancy between Katanga Mining’s filings and the real recipient of these huge payments runs the risk of misleading investors,” Pete Jones, a campaigner with Global Witness, said in the statement. “Investors need to ask Glencore why it felt comfortable making these payments and why it didn’t clearly disclose Gertler as the recipient.”
Glencore said in an emailed response to questions it complied with all disclosure obligations relating to Katanga Mining. Glencore made the payments to Gertler’s Africa Horizons at Gecamines’ request, it said.
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