|Active in||Zimbabwe, Central Africa, DR Congo|
Billy Rautenbach is a highly suspect mining entrepreneur who, in January 2009, was added to the European Union’s “blacklist” of “people thought to be supporting the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. The move saw his British Virgin Islands’ investment company, Ridgepoint Overseas, having its mining assets frozen as part of increased EU sanctions [Metal Bulletin, London, 27 January 2009]. A well-known figure in the Central African cobalt market, and a shareholder in Central African Mining and Exploration Co (Camec) (see also: Capital Group Companies), Rautenbach is believed to have supported senior regime officials in Zimbabwe during their intervention in the DR Congo (DRC) Second Congo War (1998-2003) [Metal Bulletin, ibid].
He was wanted on fraud charges by the South African government, until he handed himself in. pleading guility to no fewer than 326 (sic) counts of fraud - for which was fined US$5.5 million [MJ 25 September 2009;see also: John Bredenkamp).
Rautenbach remained a 7% shareholder in Camec until 2009, though in July 2007 he had been declared persona non grata by the DRC government, shortly before ministers decided to pull one of Camec’s mining licenses [Metal Bulletin 18 July 2007]. However, a spokesman for the company told the London-based Metal Bulletin in January 2009 that his addition to the EU blacklist “will not affect Camec’s operations in the DRC or its platinum project in Zimbabwe” [Metal Bulletin, 27 January 2009].
Eight months later, London-listed Eurasian Natural Resources Corp (ENRC) - one of the world's top 25 mining companies - bought out the share capital of Camec [MJ 25 September 2009, ibid].