China Molybdenum has lined up about $700 million of that total as loans from Chinese state-backed banks, including China Construction Bank. BHR raised the remaining money from lesser-known organizations such as Design Time Limited, an offshore company controlled by China Construction’s investment bank, according to Hong Kong filings.
Before the deal went through, BHR also signed an agreement allowing China Molybdenum to buy BHR’s stake in the mine, which the company did two years later, the filings show. That sale gave China Molybdenum 80% ownership of the mine. (The Congolese state mining enterprise keeps the shares to itself.)
By the time BHR sold his stake in 2019, Mr. Biden controlled 10% of the company through Skaneateles LLC, a Washington-based company. While Chinese company filings show Skaneateles remains a partial owner of BHR, Chris Clark, Biden’s attorney, said that he “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in the with BHR or Skaneateles”. Chinese records show Mr. Biden was no longer on BHR’s board as of April 2020. Mr. Biden did not respond to requests for comment.
A former BHR board member told The New York Times that Mr. Biden and the other American founders were not involved in the mining deal and that the company only made a nominal fee from it. The former board member said that the money was transferred to the company’s operating fund and not distributed to owners.
It is not clear how the company was chosen by Molybdenum China. Current BHR executives did not return emails and phone calls seeking comment. “We do not know Hunter Biden, nor do we know about his involvement in the BHR,” Vincent Zhou, a spokesman for China Molybdenum, said in an email.
Dozens of executives from companies involved in the acquisition, including Freeport-McMoRan and Lundin, said in interviews that they were not given a reason for joining BHR. Most of the executives also said they were not aware of the deal about Biden’s connection to the company.
Paul Conibear, Lundin’s chief executive officer at the time, made it clear that China Molybdenum was leading the trade even though the buyer of Lundin’s shares was BHR.