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Canadian Gold Mine in Congo Seized by Wagner

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Canadian-owned mine at Ndassima seized by Russian mercenaries in Africa, is helping fund the war in Ukraine​

JOSEPH COPPOLINO
OTTAWA
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2, 2024
FOR SUBSCRIBERS
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/res...9f8d2f6209df0ce4d0a9e066&width=600&quality=80
A Canadian-owned gold mine in central Africa has emerged as a key source of financing for Russia’s global military operations, leaving its owners fighting for compensation.

Four years after its biggest African gold mine was seized by Russian mercenaries, Vancouver-based Axmin Inc. is seeking a cash settlement and a possible share of the mine’s royalties from the government of the Central African Republic (CAR), which allegedly allowed the mercenaries to grab the mine.

The U.S. Treasury Department says Axmin’s mine at Ndassima in the CAR has become a key producer of financing for the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked military contractor, and its operations in Ukraine and Africa. The mine has an estimated value of US$1-billion to US$2.8-billion.

When rebels captured the mine from Axmin after war erupted in the CAR in 2012, the company abandoned its operations and declared force majeure. Six years later, the Wagner Group arrived in the country under an agreement to fight the rebels and provide security for the government.

In 2020, Wagner troops seized control of the mine, and it was placed under a Wagner-affiliated company, Midas Ressources, which is based in the CAR.

Axmin says it valued the mine at US$340-million in 2011. But a decade later it was worth US$2.8-billion, according to a CAR government document cited by The Sentry, a U.S.-based research organization, in a report last year. Some reports say it is producing almost US$300-million in annual revenue for Wagner.
The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Midas last June, accusing it of being “engaged in illicit gold dealings to fund the Wagner Group to sustain and expand its armed forces, including in Ukraine and Africa.”

The mine at Ndassima contains gold valued at more than US$1-billion, the department said, adding that the Russian mercenaries have prevented the government from inspecting the mine. It and other Wagner assets in the CAR have become “key to financing Wagner’s operations in the CAR and beyond.”

2012 - Canadian owned mine seized by local rebels and forced to cease operations.
2018 - local government hires Wagner mercenaries to clear out the rebels
2020 - Wagner seizes the mine
2020 - Wagner starts operating the mine for its own benefit, independent of both the local government and the Canadian owners.
2024 - Wagner investing profits in operations in Ukraine and the Sahara that support Russian national interests.


At any point in that time line was there an opportunity for the Canadian government to intervene militarily in support of both national and international interests? Somewhere between 2012 and 2018 where the local government was struggling with local rebels and ultimately felt the need to hire mercenaries to support them?

How about Canada offering a Company to secure the mine site in 2012 when the threat was local rebels.? It would probably take a Battle Groups or even a Brigade to achieve the necessary effect against Wagner today.

Nations have interests.
 
2012 - Canadian owned mine seized by local rebels and forced to cease operations.
2018 - local government hires Wagner mercenaries to clear out the rebels
2020 - Wagner seizes the mine
2020 - Wagner starts operating the mine for its own benefit, independent of both the local government and the Canadian owners.
2024 - Wagner investing profits in operations in Ukraine and the Sahara that support Russian national interests.


At any point in that time line was there an opportunity for the Canadian government to intervene militarily in support of both national and international interests? Somewhere between 2012 and 2018 where the local government was struggling with local rebels and ultimately felt the need to hire mercenaries to support them?

How about Canada offering a Company to secure the mine site in 2012 when the threat was local rebels.? It would probably take a Battle Groups or even a Brigade to achieve the necessary effect against Wagner today.

Nations have interests.
Nations have interests, but no country is going to allow foreign troops to occupy land in their nation to defend it against locals.

Before you mention Germany, Japan, or other conquered places, remember that they lost a war and were controlled by the victors. Canada is never going to invade another nation to secure gold mines.
 
Nations have interests, but no country is going to allow foreign troops to occupy land in their nation to defend it against locals.

Before you mention Germany, Japan, or other conquered places, remember that they lost a war and were controlled by the victors. Canada is never going to invade another nation to secure gold mines.

Maybe it should start. :devilish:

I did note that in the early going, when the government of the CAR was dealing with rebels and it was the rebels, the anti-government faction, that seized the gold mine, then there might have been a permissive window for Canadian troops to enter the CAR with the blessings of the local government.

No invasion necessary.

The local government apparently felt that they couldn't secure the situation with their own resources other wise they wouldn't have felt the need to hire mercenaries.

Isn't Canada supposed to be in the business of stabilizing states? Making omelettes?
 
Maybe it should start. :devilish:

I did note that in the early going, when the government of the CAR was dealing with rebels and it was the rebels, the anti-government faction, that seized the gold mine, then there might have been a permissive window for Canadian troops to enter the CAR with the blessings of the local government.

No invasion necessary.

The local government apparently felt that they couldn't secure the situation with their own resources other wise they wouldn't have felt the need to hire mercenaries.

Isn't Canada supposed to be in the business of stabilizing states? Making omelettes?
Canada would be hard pressed to invade and occupy Manitoulan Island.

In 2015 we stopped stabilizing and started convening.
 
Maybe it should start. :devilish:

I did note that in the early going, when the government of the CAR was dealing with rebels and it was the rebels, the anti-government faction, that seized the gold mine, then there might have been a permissive window for Canadian troops to enter the CAR with the blessings of the local government.

No invasion necessary.

The local government apparently felt that they couldn't secure the situation with their own resources other wise they wouldn't have felt the need to hire mercenaries.

Isn't Canada supposed to be in the business of stabilizing states? Making omelettes?
White Canadian troops would never be invited into the CAR to fight and kill rebels, and Canadian governments would never do it.

I'm not sure if you remember, but another CAR in Africa kinda ensured that Canada had zero interest in fighting Africans.
 
White Canadian troops would never be invited into the CAR to fight and kill rebels, and Canadian governments would never do it.

I'm not sure if you remember, but another CAR in Africa kinda ensured that Canada had zero interest in fighting Africans.

I remember. I also remember that the problem was too little and not too much.

A Canadian force relying on Canadian resources gets to write Canadian rules.

That ultimately was the difference between MacKenzie's Battle Group in Yugoslavia and Dallaird's Canadian platoon in Rwanda.
 
I remember. I also remember that the problem was too little and not too much.

A Canadian force relying on Canadian resources gets to write Canadian rules.

That ultimately was the difference between MacKenzie's Battle Group in Yugoslavia and Dallaird's Canadian platoon in Rwanda.
Uhm CAR in Somalia says let’s not go there again…
 
Canada would be hard pressed to invade and occupy Manitoulan Island.

In 2015 we stopped stabilizing and started convening.
The Somalian drug Gangs of Wikwemikong enter the chat…
 
Troops from a wealthy Western nation using force to protect the rights of a company extracting the resources from a poor African nation? Can't possibly see how that could be spun as a PR loss for Canada...
Sure! That force can be commanded by a female and comprised of at least 50 % self-identified LGBT2QS, armed to the teeth but with cripplingly restrictive ROEs.

That TF would be so woke, Wagner Group would never sleep again.
 
2012 - Canadian owned mine seized by local rebels and forced to cease operations.
2018 - local government hires Wagner mercenaries to clear out the rebels
2020 - Wagner seizes the mine
2020 - Wagner starts operating the mine for its own benefit, independent of both the local government and the Canadian owners.
2024 - Wagner investing profits in operations in Ukraine and the Sahara that support Russian national interests.


At any point in that time line was there an opportunity for the Canadian government to intervene militarily in support of both national and international interests? Somewhere between 2012 and 2018 where the local government was struggling with local rebels and ultimately felt the need to hire mercenaries to support them?

How about Canada offering a Company to secure the mine site in 2012 when the threat was local rebels.? It would probably take a Battle Groups or even a Brigade to achieve the necessary effect against Wagner today.

Nations have interests.
That a Canadian private company has business interests somewhere does not on its own mean that Canada has interests in that venture to the point of using force to protect it. Canadian companies that operate or invest in interesting places in the world do so with the assumption of risk. Canada would have the interest of the safety of Canadian citizens, but that would not mean that the Canadian Armed Forces would station troops at a private venture to allow operations to continue.

There is no causus belli for Canada to intervene in the Central African Republic based on the gold mine. The CAR is a sovereign country. Even if they wanted Canada to intervene, we then have to look at whether the situation of a private Canadian company's gold mine problem would warrant the deployment of Canadian troops.

If Wagner took over a gold mine in Canada it would be different story.
 
Troops from a wealthy Western nation using force to protect the rights of a company extracting the resources from a poor African nation? Can't possibly see how that could be spun as a PR loss for Canada...

That a Canadian private company has business interests somewhere does not on its own mean that Canada has interests in that venture to the point of using force to protect it. Canadian companies that operate or invest in interesting places in the world do so with the assumption of risk. Canada would have the interest of the safety of Canadian citizens, but that would not mean that the Canadian Armed Forces would station troops at a private venture to allow operations to continue.

There is no causus belli for Canada to intervene in the Central African Republic based on the gold mine. The CAR is a sovereign country. Even if they wanted Canada to intervene, we then have to look at whether the situation of a private Canadian company's gold mine problem would warrant the deployment of Canadian troops.

If Wagner took over a gold mine in Canada it would be different story.


@TangoTwoBravo - I agree that there is no need. Is there a desire? Is there justification?

@GR66 - thanks for writing the CCP press release.

Here is the IMF/OECD press release.

Struggling Central African government seeks to exploit available resources to enrich its national population. Seeking reputable investors with solid backing it reached out to a Canadian company well known for its ESG credentials. The investment was under-written by the DEI/GBA+ government of Canada. Canada is contributing a Stabilization Force to assist the local government in securing their mutual investment and ensuring the safety and prosperity of the local community.
 
That a Canadian private company has business interests somewhere does not on its own mean that Canada has interests in that venture to the point of using force to protect it. . . .

Canadian?

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"Canadian Gold Mine in Congo Seized by Wagner"​


From the title of the thread

Is there a "Canadian" mine that Wagner seized in the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, either one) or is the one in the Central African Republic the only one?
 

"Canadian Gold Mine in Congo Seized by Wagner"​


From the title of the thread

Is there a "Canadian" mine that Wagner seized in the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, either one) or is the one in the Central African Republic the only one?

I can hear the computer keys clicking drafting a letter to the Wagner group- if this is true.

Failing that the next step is a strongly worded letter 😉
 
Or a Canadian version of "The Dogs of War" or "The Wild Geese" is released, but in documentary form...assuming we could find a Canadian PMC that would take that on...
 
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