PracticeConsultingAccountancy Age exclusive: Grant Thornton advises controversial mining company

Accountancy Age exclusive: Grant Thornton advises controversial mining company

Top ten firm Grant Thornton is advising controversial Congo diamond mining venture Oryx in its bid for a quotation on the London stock market.

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

Its move comes as the Foreign Office steps up pressure for action to curb diamond trading, believed to be funding wars across Africa. It wants the Group of Eight foreign ministers to adopt a diamond trade code of conduct at its Japan meeting in July.

Oryx managing director Adonis Pouroulis admitted last week representatives from the Zimbabwe Army, who have been involved in the civil war since 1998, had representatives in a company, Osleg, that also holds a stake in the Congo mine.The controversy has raised questions over ethics in international business.

The English ICA said it did not provide guidance. ‘It’s up to each individual firm and accountant to decide a moral stance and act accordingly’, a spokesman said.

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.

New recruits look for ethical approach

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