Glencore took a balanced approach on its way to becoming the world’s biggest commodities trader and one of the top mining houses. It dealt with the sinners as well as the saints.
Sinners are everywhere in the mining industry, of course, and are all but unavoidable if you want to get deals done in regulatory-lite zones, notably Africa, which is blessed with endless resources – cobalt, copper, diamonds, oil – waiting to be tapped.
Glencore took big risks in Africa, one of which appears to have been its association with Dan Gertler, 44, the Israeli billionaire and commodities tycoon who has worked the mining game in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for about 20 years, to great success.
But his mining deals were always viewed with suspicion by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and various anti-corruption groups such as Global Witness, which called him “a gatekeeper to Congo’s riches.”
In December, the U.S. government added Mr. Gertler to its black list. He and 19 companies linked to him were sanctioned by the Treasury Department for their allegedly “opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” that supposedly were arranged through Mr. Gertler’s friendship with DRC President Joseph Kabila.
For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-how-glencores-risky-dealings-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo/