Secretive gems trader with friends in the highest places
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Friday 06 January 2012
At the centre of the battle for the Kolwezi copper mine is the secretive character of Dan Gertler, an Israeli diamond trader who has befriended some of the most powerful men in Africa.
Thanks to those connections, the ultra-orthodox Jew has built up a personal fortune of around $1bn from buying and selling mining concessions, mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He has never given an interview. But reports of his career suggest that he inveigled himself into the trust of the now-President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, back in the late 1990s, when his father, Laurent Kabila, was seeking money to fund his struggle against rebels in a civil war. Mr Gertler is said to have provided as much as $20m.
He was granted a two-year monopoly on non-industrially mined diamonds and although that contract was cancelled under pressure from the UN, the Kabila-Gertler relationship continued with other contracts.
To renovate a flooded copper mine in Katanga he tapped the City of London for $400m, the first of several dealings he had in the City, culminating in the sale to ENRC of the First Quantum mine that triggered yesterday's costly settlement.
Amid all the negative comment about this father of eight, Kabila's ministers praise him for bringing jobs and investment to the country. Whichever side of the fence you sit, you can be sure his dealmaking will last for as long Kabila's regime holds strong.
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Nazi gold train: 'Significant' discovery made in Poland
Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
TTIP controversy: The European Commission and Big Tobacco accused of cover-up after heavily redacted documents released
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...
£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...
£20400 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and highly reputable organisat...