Mr. Sobotka was born in 1980 in Germany. He graduated from WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, and from several other higher educational establishments, including Rotterdam School of Management, CEIBS Shanghai and Moscow Finance Academy.
Start of career
Prior to becoming CEO of ERG, Mr. Sobotka worked at Bryanston Resources, his own company specializing in commodity investment advisory services. In just two years, the firm has grown to 10 functional offices and over 100 employees. Prior to founding his own company, Mr. Sobotka had built a successful career with Boston Consulting Group, a renowned international business consulting company.
·Boston Consulting Group, 2004-2011
·Founder of Bryanston Resources, 2011-2014
·Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Resources Group, since 2014
Apart from his main career, he also has experience in investing in high tech startups, includingMineral Values Service, a state-of-the-art analyticaltool developed for the iron ore industry, and Advanced Membrane System, a nanofiltration company.
Career at Eurasian Resources Group
Mr. Sobotka became CEO of ERG in January, 2014. Nowadays, the Group’s industrialized complexes are located in several countries. Kazakhstan accounts for over 80% of ERG’s all employees and the largest share of its manufacturing capacities;
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),possessing up to 60% of world’s cobalt reserves, and Zambia, in which ERG’s cobalt and copper refineryChambishi Metals is located. ERG’s otheroperating locations include Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, Mali and Zimbabwe.
ERG participates in multiple international and regional organizations:
- World Economic Forum, (WEF)
- Cobalt Institute, etc.
- Foreign Investors Council chaired by the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
- National Chamber Atameken, etc.
- · Chamber of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- · Chamber of Mines of Republic of Zambia; etc
ERG actively participates in the life of artisanal mining communities in the territories of its operation. Under Mr. Benedikt’s leadership, the Group allocates significant resourceson business improvement programs, such as the Chinese One Belt One Road initiative. Moreover, the Group is funding charity organizations and projects focusing on the improvement of living conditions of the partner countries in need.
In Africa, ERG invests into the building of schools in the DRC, notoriously known for the wide-spread child labor in the cobalt industry, and supplies all the required materials. In one of his interviews, Benedikt Sobotka says: ‘Unfortunately, the likelihood is almost 100% that the cobalt used to produce your smartphone has been minedwith child labor. The introduction of ethical mining practices will certainly help change the situation but right now we must do everything we can to put an end to child labor.”
All of the Group’s enterprises involved in cobalt mining and production in the DRC are absolutely free of child labor.
Moreover, ERG cooperates with charity organizations that work to eradicate child labor and violence against women and children in the DRC.