Congo Prosecutor Stops $250 Million Katanga Payment to Gecamines
A Democratic Republic of Congo prosecutor blocked a $250 million payment by a unit of Glencore Plc-controlled Katanga Mining Ltd. to state-owned Gecamines amid a corruption investigation into the latter company’s executives.

Katanga-controlled Kamoto Copper Company SA agreed in December to acquire land around its mining site belonging to Gecamines, its joint-venture partner, for $250 million to build a tailings dump and for mineral exploration.

KCC received an injunction Monday from the General Prosecutor at the Kinshasa Court of Appeals blocking the payment, “pending the conclusion of an investigation by the General Prosecutor relating to Gecamines’ executives,” the company said in a statement on its website.  “KCC remains committed to fulfilling its obligations under the agreement as soon as KCC is legally permitted to do so.”

The prosecutor is investigating the alleged misuse by Gecamines officials of a 128 million-euro ($140 million) loan in 2017 from a company belonging to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler.

Gecamines Chairman Albert Yuma and Chief Executive Officer Jacques Kamenga did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment Tuesday.

KCC was Congo’s largest copper producer last year, exporting about 231,000 tons of copper cathode, according to mines ministry statistics.

Bloomberg - By Michael J. Kavanagh

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