How Hunter Biden’s company helped secure cobalt for the Chinese

China Molybden provided about $ 700 million of the total as loans from Chinese state-backed banks, including China Construction Bank. BHR obtained the remaining amount from obscure entities with names such as Design Time Limited, an offshore company controlled by China Construction’s investment bank, according to the Hong Kong archives.

Before the agreement was implemented, BHR also signed an agreement that allowed China Molybden to buy BHR’s share of the mine, something the company did two years later, the submissions show. That purchase gave China Molybden 80 percent ownership of the mine. (Congolese state-owned mining companies kept a stake for themselves.)

When BHR sold its stake in 2019, Mr. Biden controlled 10 percent of the company through Skaneateles LLC, a Washington-based company. While Chinese business records show that Skaneateles is still part owner of BHR, Chris Clark, a lawyer for Mr. Biden, said he “no longer has any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles.” The Chinese records show that Mr. Biden was no longer on BHR’s board from 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 U.S. founders were not involved in the mining deal, and that the company only earned a nominal fee from it. The money, said the former board member, went into the company’s operating assets and was not distributed to the owners.

It is unclear how the company was chosen by China Molybdenum. Current executives at BHR did not return emails and phone calls to seek comment. “We do not know Hunter Biden, nor are we aware of his involvement in the BHR,” Vincent Zhou, a spokesman for China Molybdenum, said in an email.

Dozens of executives from companies involved in the deal, including Freeport-McMoRan and Lundin, said in interviews that they received no reason for BHR’s participation. Most of the executives also said they were unaware of the agreement on Mr. Biden’s affiliation with the company.

Paul Conibear, Lundin’s CEO at the time, said it was made clear that China Molybdenum was leading the deal even though the buyer of Lundin’s stake was BHR.

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