London-listed Kazakh company ENRC holds its Annual General Meeting in London on Tuesday 12 June. It promsies to be an interesting event.
Cracks open over ENRC’s Congo deals as chairman fails to endorse partner
Mehmet Dalman avoids ‘leading question’ on controversial businessman Dan Gertler, from whom the mining group has bought interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mining copper, burying truth
Imagine that a gigantic corporation privately informs the government that it won an important deal overseas that might have involved the bribery of foreign officials. Journalists discover a confidential document written by the company itself that highlights its concerns. But they can’t write about the story because the corporation hires a white shoe law firm that threatens legal action against media outlets that make inquiries about the document.
That’s the scenario playing out now around a company called Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, or ENRC, of Kazakhstan, whose founding shareholders are three oligarchs close to that country’s despotic leader. With the help of right-wing Israeli businessman Dan Gertler, it won control of a vast mining concession in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the world’s most corrupt, resource-cursed failed states. Gertler is known for his friendly ties to the Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila.
Gertler has also worked closely in Congo with Glencore, the Swiss-based commodities and mining giant founded by American businessman Marc Rich, who fled the U.S. in 1983 just before the Justice Department issued an indictment against him on charges of racketeering and illegal trading with Iran. Rich, who is no longer affiliated with Glencore, spent years on the FBI’s Most Wanted List before receiving a controversial pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
See also update Fast track past red flags at