Workers load batches of processed copper at Mutanda Mining Sarl, 69%-owned by Glencore, in Lualaba province, southern DRC. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Workers load batches of processed copper at Mutanda Mining Sarl, 69%-owned by Glencore, in Lualaba province, southern DRC. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

London — Glencore said on Wednesday it would co-operate with US authorities after they demanded documents about the mining firm’s business in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Venezuela and Nigeria as part of a corruption investigation.

The company said it had set up a committee of board members, including chairman Tony Hayward and independent non-executive directors Leonhard Fischer and Patrice Merrin, to oversee its response to the subpoena from the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Hayward said that the company would “co-operate with the DoJ, while continuing to focus on our business and seeking to maximise the value we create for our diverse stakeholders in a responsible and transparent manner”.

“Glencore takes ethics and compliance seriously throughout the group,” he added.

Switzerland-based Glencore received a subpoena from the DoJ last week requesting documents and records on compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money-laundering statutes.

The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for companies to bribe overseas officials to win business.

The DoJ has so far not commented on the request.

Glencore shares had fallen 4.2% to 313.29 pence on Wednesday, down 20% since the start of 2018 and close to one-year lows.

The stock suffered its biggest one-day fall in more than two years after the subpoena announcement last week.

Responding to the share fall, Glencore announced a buy-back worth about $1bn in an effort to soothe investors.

Some analysts say the US subpoena could be a result of Glencore settling a mining row in the DRC with Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, under US sanctions since 2017, by agreeing to pay royalties in euros.

The DRC accounts for about 25% of Glencore’s net present value, analysts said, adding that Venezuela and Nigeria’s contribution was negligible. The firm mines cobalt in the DRC, a key metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles.

Reuters

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