ABN - Glencore’s mining subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been served freezing orders for alleged unpaid royalties amounting to nearly US$3 billion.
The freezing order was served in the DRC by Ventora Development Sasu, a company affiliated with Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler.
The firm is seeking $695 million in unpaid and future royalties from Glencore’s subsidiary Mutanda Mining and $2.28 billion from another of the Anglo-Swiss commodity giant’s DRC subsidiaries Kamoto Copper Company (KCC).
KCC is also battling legal proceedings that are sought by the DRC’s state-owned mining company Gecamines due to a substantial capital shortfall over the last year.
In a company statement, Glencore said Ventora accuses KCC of breaching an agreement by declining to make royalty payments to Gertler, who was under US sanctions.
At the end of last year, the US government added Gertler to its list of Specially Designated Nationals, under the premise that he was using his friendship with DRC President Joseph Kabila to secure sweetened mining deals.
Gertler has since denied all allegations of impropriety and added that his investments in the DRC have created thousands of jobs.
Glencore said that a freezing order could affect mining operations, and sources close to the matter said the firm will file an appeal in due course.