Slump in metal prices rocks ENRC

The controversial Kazakh miner ENRC counted the cost of plunging metal prices yesterday as profits slumped and the group slashed its interim dividend.

ENRC, tainted by a contentious mining deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and attempting to draw a line under a damaging corporate governance storm, also hacked back its 2012 spending plans for this year as first-half profits sank 41 per cent to $1.14bn (£727m).

ENRC has been hit by tumbling prices for a host of commodities including iron ore, down 25 per cent year on year, and aluminium as the global economy continues to suffer.

ENRC raised eyebrows over its acquisition of the Kolwezi copper mine in the DRC, seized in 2009 by President Joseph Kabila from London-listed First Quantum and sold to a firm controlled by Israeli businessman Dan Gertler for $60m. He later sold it to ENRC for $175m.

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