Glencore has agreed to pay $180mn to the Democratic Republic of Congo to cover claims arising from alleged acts of corruption, the mining company’s latest settlement with global authorities over its conduct.
The settlement means 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 world’s largest mining companies by revenue, said it had undertaken a compliance overhaul so the practices identified by the investigations no longer took 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 in the US of more than $1.1bn and accepted a US legal monitor, who is expected to begin work shortly.
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.
“Glencore is a longstanding investor in the DRC and is pleased to have reached this agreement to address the consequences of its past conduct,” Kalidas Madhavpeddi, chair of the company, said in a statement
Glencore’s assets in the DRC include a 75 per cent stake in KCC, a large copper-cobalt project, and ownership of the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine.
During the period covered by the settlement, Glencore worked with Israeli mining tycoon Dan Gertler. In 2017 it bought out his stakes in the Mutanda mining joint venture and in Katanga Mining, which holds a stake in KCC.
The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Gertler in 2017 over his alleged connection with transactions involving offshore companies that cost the DRC more than $1.36bn in revenue. Gertler has denied wrongdoing.
The US investigation this year found evidence of bribery by Glencore in the DRC and other countries.
“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 Department of Justice said in May.
Glencore’s share price has been little affected by the various corruption investigations, with the size of the fines dwarfed by bumper profits this year.
During the first half of this year Glencore reported record profits of $18.9bn, largely because of high coal prices. The company will hold its annual investor update on Tuesday.
Separate investigations into Glencore’s conduct are ongoing in Switzerland and in the Netherlands.