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Not, really, a lot of sense in this

Endeavour Mining, the largest gold producer in West Africa, told investors after markets shut on Thursday it had terminated the employment of Sébastien de Montessus for “serious misconduct” after uncovering an “irregular payment instruction” of $5.9m (£4.7m).

Endeavour said the payment was discovered “in the course of a review of acquisitions and disposals”.

Last night Mr de Montessus told The Telegraph: “In 2021 I instructed a creditor of Endeavour to offset an amount owed to the company to pay for essential security equipment to protect our partners and employees in a conflict zone.

“The decision had no additional cost to the company and did not benefit me personally in any way. I omitted to inform the board that I had arranged for this offset, which I have freely accepted was a lapse in judgement.

“This week I was given 48 hours’ notice of the concerns and no proper opportunity to answer them.”

But that is the explanation, right? So, that didn’t take 48 hours, did it? And why didn’t the board accept it?

Also, how does an offset lead to a payment instruction?

Endeavour Mining, which was founded in 1988, runs mines in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

Ah, you know, I think – in my opinion – that might be where the problem is. Big, London listed, miners and corporations do not, at all, ever, play with money in the same way that the thieves and bandits which are governments in some parts of the world do. It’s just that the thieves and bandits aren’t too sure about that, even if the miners say they are.

4 thoughts on “Not, really, a lot of sense in this”

  1. Bribery is apparently a serious offence with global reach of both UK and US laws. I wonder if the US will apply them to the incumbent instead of imagining that paying for hotel rooms is a bribe to the prior President.

    My money is on ‘no’.

  2. Thing is, Africans don’t necessarily see things like “signature bonuses” as corruption*. And it’s their gaff, so you have to play by their rules or find yourself as welcome as the French.

    Why we prosecute people in England for doing business in Africa the African way, I dunno. But it won’t stop the Chinese or Russians hoovering up all those lovely African resources.

    Maybe it’s OK if we pay people in Hunter Biden paintings.

    *This is what (highly educated, professional) African chaps told me about how the oil industry works over there. They also have their own opinions on stuff like bum banditry. Africans are a great bunch of lads.

  3. By definition, a “creditor” of Endeavor is owed money by the company. How do they “offset” that claim by having the creditor perform other services?
    It is possible that the reporting is shit, and they didn’t mean “creditor” but “client” or “debtor.” The other explanation is that Mr de Montessus is making it up as he goes, and under questioning, came up with the wrong explanation for his actions, possibly because he is thick as two short planks. Take your pick.

  4. dcardno

    Yes, I was trying to do the same calculations on exactly that. I surmised that Endeavour had had to incur other costs (to enable/support the supplier given the inherent risks) and then tried to offset those costs against a small part of what they owed that supplier (ie, supplier might otherwise normally have paid those costs, in order safely to carry out what they did for Endeavour). That was the best I could be bothered to come up with before thinking: hang on, it is the DT, it could just be complete bollocks!

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