Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Markets Magazine

Gertler Earns Billions as Mine Deals Leave Congo Poorest

The open pit of Katanga Mining Ltd.'s Musonoie-T17 copper and cobalt mine is seen from above in Kolwezi, Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, whose grandfather co-founded Israel's diamond exchange in 1947, arrived in Congo in 1997 seeking rough diamonds. Since those early days, Gertler has invested in iron ore, gold, cobalt and copper as well as agriculture, oil and banking.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

From

Dan Gertler’s bearded face lights up as he looks out the helicopter window. Below, an installation twice the size of Monaco rises from a clearing in the central African forest, where it transforms ore mined from the ochre earth into sheets of copper.

“Look at it, look at it,” the Israeli billionaire, 38, shouts through the headset above the thrum of rotors. “This is what life is all about,” Gertler says as the chopper lands in the scorching, dry afternoon heat of the Democratic Republic of Congo.