In legal proceedings it is undertaking to end its joint venture with Glencore, Gecamines is faulting the commodities conglomerate for the $9 billion debt that Kamoto copper and cobalt mine owes Glencore. The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo owns Gecamines,
Gecamines blames the accumulation of the mammoth debt to the high venture interest rates that Glencore has been charging, according to Reuters.
Weighed down by the debt burden, last year Gecamines announced plans to implement new controls meant to hold its joint venture partners accountable for poor performance at their mines.
“Through a series of intragroup financial and commercial agreements, the majority shareholders group implemented a policy that resulted in draining, to its own benefit, the treasury and the wealth of the joint company,” Reuters quoted a statement from Gecamines.
Attempts to get Glencore’s side of the story proved futile.
Kamoto is one of Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) biggest copper and cobalt mines. It is 75 percent controlled by Katanga Mining, in which Glencore has an 86 percent stake. Gecamines controls the remaining 25 percent.