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Forrest Group International

Forrest Group International
Based in DR Congo
Active in DR Congo
Targeted base metals, energy fuels

Forrest Group International, based in DR Congo, is the brainchild of notable and notorious mining entrepreneur, Belgian-born George Forrest.

In November 2008 it tried to buy Forsys, a Canadian company which has rights to a uranium lease in Namibia [MJ 1 May 2009], through its subsidiary George Forrest International Afrique (GFIA).

The deal collapsed in September 2009, when Forrest failed to find the necessary finance, and the Canadian federal governments Industry Canada prohibited GFIA from implementing the agreement with Forsys, saying Forrest had failed to reveal which parties he had contacted to cash the deal.

Speculations were rife that Forrest had been talking with funders in South Korea - or even Iran or North Korea; and trucking with Areva, the huge French nuclear corporation, or potential buyers in Russia and India [MJ 4 September 2009].

This type of foray appears par for Mr Forrest's particular course. Now in his seventies, he was born in Kolwezi - the copper centre of the Belgian Congo (now DR Congo); diversifying from transport into mining, civil engineering, armaments, pyrotechnology, cement and coal production from the 1970s until 1992, when he linked up with state-owned Gecamines.

From 199-2001, Forrest was chairman of Gecamines,purporting to help out the debt-laden enterprise. However, many commentators accused him of grossly exploiting the country's natural resources, while millions were suffering and dying during the most horrendous civil conflict in Africa's history.

In 2002, a UN "expert panel" cited his company, along with 28 other corporations (including Anglo American) of violating sanctions and Forrest in particular of attempting to take over DRC's mining sector. He retorted that no evidence had been provided against him, and the UN effort effectively fizzled out [MJ 4 September 2010, ibid].

See also RP EMF.