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Mining Investors Spooked as African Dispute Payments Multiply

  • One-time payments can raise financial risks: Legal & General
  • Settlements often used to resolve tax, contractual disputes
Operations At Anglo American Plc's Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. Sishen Mine
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Miners across Africa are increasingly using one-time payments to settle disputes with governments, a trend that’s disturbing some investors.

A $150 million payment by Glencore Plc’s Katanga Mining Ltd. to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Gecamines earlier this month followed Freeport McMoRan Inc.’s separate $100 million settlement with the state-owned company in January 2017. Last October, Barrick Gold Corp. proposed paying Tanzania $300 million as part of efforts to negotiate a settlement for its majority-owned Acacia Mining Plc.