As the clean energy revolution upends the centuries-long lock of fossil fuels on the global economy, dealmakers and hustlers converge on the Fleuve Congo Hotel.

The lobby of the Fleuve Congo Hotel was a swirl of double-breasted suits and tailored dresses one April morning. Shiny gold watches dangled from wrists. Stilettos clacked across marble floors. Smooth jazz played as men in designer loafers sipped espressos, the New York Times reports.

Situated on the banks of the muddy, furious Congo River, the Fleuve is an emporium of ambition in a nation that, despite extreme poverty and chronic corruption, serves up raw materials crucial to the planet’s battle against climate change.

The soil in the Democratic Republic of Congo is bursting with cobalt and other metals used in the production of electric car batteries, wind turbines and other mainstays of the green energy revolution. Practically everyone who passes through the hotel, where the air conditioning battles the sweltering heat, seems determined to grab a piece of the wealth.

Just off the lobby that day, near a sumptuous brunch buffet, sat Dikembe Mutombo, the 7-foot-2 former NBA all-star player. He had teamed up in his quest for mineral riches with Gentry Beach, a Texas hedge-fund manager who is a family friend and major fund-raiser to former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Mutombo shared his table with a top Congolese mining lawyer turned politician whose office is conveniently located in a complex near the hotel.

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