Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Congo Siasa Will Not Be Sued

Because it is now out in the open that Dan Gertler, the prominent Israeli businessman often featured in this space, was behind one of the British Virgin Island companies that recently obtained valuable mining and oil concessions in the Congo. (His lawyers tend to be a litigious bunch). Today, we found out that Kazakh company ENRC bought a majority stake in Camrose Resources Ltd - a company controlled by Gertler - for $50 million in cash and $125 million in promissory notes.

Camrose owns five copper and cobalt licenses in the Congo, one of which was the Kolwezi mine taken away from First Quantum by the Congolese government. I wonder how much they paid for all that? To Congolese MPs reading this: an audit would be nice.

3 comments:

texasinafrica said...

I'm sure there are still other blog-related reasons for which you could be sued... :)

Dr said...

This is a big deal in the mining sphere. First Quantum was stock market darling of the mining specialist funds, lots of big and important funds hold/held it. ENRC are big enough though, to brush any reputational risk of, they don't really care about what mining funds think about them as they can always get money from the more generalist Emerging Market/Hedge funds.

This is ENRC's second forray into the DRC. They previously bought CAMEC, an extremely shady company, where Gertler held 35%.

DRC government simply doesn't care about DRC reputation as an investment destination. Their view is; the assets are that good, they will always be a willing buyer. This deal is a case in point.

Jason Stearns said...

I agree, and good points. A lot of people have been perplexed about ENRC wading into this, but CAMEC was also pretty dodgy and they didn't care much there, either. The only danger is if there is ever a new government that comes to power (a big if), I could imagine they wouldn't be too happy with a company that got very close to Kabila's circle, possibly even financed them indirectly.

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