Grant Thornton advises controversial mining company.

The Cayman Island-registered company, which plans to mine a $1bn concession in the Congo despite the country’s civil war, is due to list on 13 June.

The move comes as the Foreign Office steps up pressure to curb diamond trading, believed to be funding wars across Africa.

Oryx managing director Adonis Pouroulis last week admitted the Zimbabwe Army, who have been involved in the civil war since 1998, had representatives in Osleg, a company that also holds a stake in the Congo mine. The controversy has raised questions over ethics in international business, though the English ICA said this week it was up to individual firms to decide ‘a moral stance’.

Grant Thornton has advised Petra Diamonds since 1997. Oryx is conducting a reverse takeover of Petra and is expected to revert to the name Oryx soon after its listing.

‘We are satisfied that Oryx have fulfilled all the appropriate criteria for admission to the Alternative Investment Market,’ a spokesman for the firm said.

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