ANOTHER ATTACK ON GECAMINES

NEWS

The Carter Centre, a foundation set up by US former president Jimmy Carter to promote democracy and human rights around the world, has published a report that largely confirms the findings of an investigation conducted by Global Witness a few months earlier. 750 million that the company would have received would have disappeared towards unknown horizons. At the same time, Glencore, one of the largest international companies active in Gécamines partnerships, is highlighted by the report of an independent group of investigative journalists, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In the articles that follow, we try to take stock of the situation.

State Business: The Carter Centre Report Based on systematic research into the activities of CMM and its key partners, a review of more than 100 mining contracts, 1,000 company publications and data published under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) during the period 2007 – 2014, more than 200 interviews and more than 800 written questions, the report, which also offered a right of reply to more than 25,000 requests for information on the activities of CMM and its main partners, a review of more than 100 mining contracts, over 200 interviews and more than 800 written questions, the report, which also offered a right of reply to more than 2,000.

According to the Carter Center, some $750 million in revenue from DRC’s mines between 2011 and 2014 “cannot be reliably tracked” in the records of the state-owned Gecamines. The Carter Center’s report, suggested Gecamines used “its privileged position to generate US$1.1 billion from copper and cobalt deals between 2011 and 2014” yet had failed to reliably account for almost two-thirds of the revenue. Gecamines wields control of the DRC’s “best mining permits”, enabling it “to generate substantial revenues from its partnerships, averaging US$262 million per year in royalties, bonuses and other contractual fees from 2009 to 2014”, the report said.

“Those revenues are not directed to the public treasury, and they are largely beyond the realm of public oversight”, it said. “It is troubling that Gecamines has refused to publish contracts for several mining deals that may have generated more than half a billion dollars in 2016-2017.” According to this report, Gecamines functions as a parallel state. With this position, it was able to generate $1.1 billion between 2011 and 2014. In addition, the report states that Gécamines has generated considerable revenues through its partnerships, averaging US$262 million per year in royalties, bonuses and other contractual costs over the 2009-2014 period. The state enterprise is also accused of not having paid these revenues to the public treasury. The NGO Global Witness charged in July that the Congolese mining sector served as a funding machine for the Kabila regime, which has been in power since 2001. A toxic combination of corruption and mismanagement in Congo’s revenues agencies and state mining companies is leaching a fifth of mining revenues away from the state budget that should be used on vital public services such as schools, hospitals and roads,” Global Witness asserted in its report. No immediate reaction could be obtained to the report from authorities.

Source: AFP/Agence Ecofin

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