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ENRC fights back

Bauxite processing “’
one of ENRC’s many
operations spread
across a variety
of commodities.
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 September 201 – Kazakh mining group ENRC “’ one of the world’s leading natural resources groups “’ has rejected accusations by rival miner First Quantum Minerals Limited about ENRC’s purchase of the disputed Kolwezi copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Announcing this in a statement released here, ENRC “’ which is listed on the London and Kazakhstan Stock Exchanges “’confirmed that it would vigorously defend any legal action.

First Quantum said on Monday that it was considering legal action against ENRC, seeking billions of dollars in compensation after the government of the DRC had taken away its Kolwezi licence and ENRC had bought the rights.

“No proceedings have been issued against ENRC. If proceedings are issued, ENRC will defend its legal position vigorously,” the company said in a statement.

ENRC announced last month that it had paid US$175 million (R1.3 billion) for a majority stake in a company called Camrose, with licences to a range of DRC copper assets, including Kolwezi.

“FQM did not respond to a previous letter from ENRC, suggesting a dialogue. Instead of accepting that offer, FQM has made statements to try to discredit ENRC and to interfere with ENRC’s rights to develop the Camrose joint venture and the Kolwezi tailings project,” ENRC said.

It repeated today that it had completed an extensive due diligence process regarding Kolwezi before buying rights to the project from a company controlled by Israeli resources investor Dan Gertler.

“The licence was withdrawn by the DRC government in August 2009, and the Court of Appeal confirmed that the withdrawal was lawful,” ENRC chief executive Felix Vulis said. “Any dispute that First Quantum has is with the relevant DRC authorities.”