Glencore to pay DR Congo $180mn to cover corruption claims

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Glencore has agreed to pay $180mn to the Democratic Republic of Congo to cover claims arising from alleged acts of corruption over 11 years, the latest settlement that the mining company has reached with authorities over its conduct.

Including the new settlement, Glencore has this year agreed to pay more than $1.66bn to authorities around the world following investigations into its business practices. Glencore, one of the largest mining companies in the world by revenue, says it has undertaken a compliance overhaul so that the practices identified by the investigations no longer take place.

The Swiss-based group pleaded guilty in May to bribery and market manipulation following a co-ordinated investigation by US, UK and Brazilian authorities. It agreed a settlement with US authorities of more than $1.1bn, and accepted a US legal monitor who is expected to begin work shortly.

The US investigation found evidence of bribery by Glencore in the DRC. “In the DRC, Glencore admitted that it conspired to and did corruptly offer and pay approximately $27.5mn to third parties, while intending for a portion of the payments to be used as bribes to DRC officials, in order to secure improper business advantages,” the US Department of Justice wrote in a statement in May.

Monday’s deal with the DRC covers any past and future claims arising from Glencore and its affiliates’ alleged misconduct in the DRC between 2007 and 2018.

In a statement, Kalidas Madhavpeddi, chair of Glencore said: “Glencore is a longstanding investor in the DRC and is pleased to have reached this agreement to address the consequences of its past conduct.”

Glencore’s assets in the DRC include its 75 per cent stake in KCC, a large copper-cobalt project, and ownership of the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine.

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