Tuesday, May 08, 2012 -
Kazakh-controlled mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) said Tuesday it has not made any decision on possibly splitting off its international operations, despite recent press reports saying the opposite.
ENRC said in a statement it “notes the recent press speculation regarding a possible demerger of its international assets…. The group continues to review all methods to achieve this, including acquisitions, joint ventures and spin-offs. At present no decision has been
made and the company continues to evaluate various options.”
The company was responding to press reports in recent days that it was in talks on demerging its assets in the Congo as well as coal mining operations in Mozambique and iron ore mines in Brazil.
Press outlets had speculated that the FTSE-100 miner would place the stock of its African operations, whose purchase sparked international condemnation, into a separate company called ENRC International.
ENRC was forced to pay out a $1.25 billion legal settlement to Canadian First Quantum mining group in January after buying a mine in the Congo that had been seized by the Congolese government from the Canadian firm.
The dirty deal was just the latest in a series of controversial actions taken by ENRC’s three Kazakh billionaires, who own 44 percent of its shares.
The Congo fiasco was the last straw for ENRC stakeholder Standard Life which sold off its own shares in the company in disgust.
According to London-based The Independent newspaper, the move is aimed at separating its main business in Kazakhstan from the controversy.
“The new chairman, Mehmet Dalman, says he wants to clean up the business and improve its image,” the Independent wrote.
Nevertheless, ENRC International wants to get hold of the remaining stake in the stolen Congo mine from middle-man tycoon Dan Gertler, who purchased it from his friend Congolese President Joseph Kabila, the newspaper said.