Glencore accused of greenwash
Campaigners have found that there is a significant gap between mining company Glencore's policy statements and its actions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two groups (Bread For All, Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) and FASTENOPFER) have released a report detailing the company's progress and failures in the DRC over the last year.
The report says that the company now breaches its own policies and has lied about the progress it has made made.
Issues raised within the report included:
- The continual discharge of mine effluence into the River Luilu depsite having claimed that all effluence was delivered to tailing ponds. The effluence was said to have copper and cobalt content that breached thresholds set by the World Health Organisation and the Congolese Mining Code for effluent.
- MUMI's concession being based within the Basse-Kondo Game Reserve, a reserve established to protect wildlife.
- G4S, a company linked to multiple human rights abuses, being the largest private security company contracted to manage security at KCC.
- The use of live ammunition by mine police on artisanal miners on KCC's site, resulting in the deaths and serious injury of both artisanal miners and passers by.
- Closure of the only road connecting the towns of Kapata and Luilu, limiting freedom of movement.
- 'Substantial profit transfers to tax havens'.
- A lack of transparency surrounding the company's environmental and social impact assessments, with little or no consultation and engagement with local community members.
Target of campaigns
In 2013, after pressure from campaigners, Glencore issued policies on environmental management, community and stakeholder engagement and human rights. The move came after they received numerous criticisms for environmental pollution, destroying natural habitats, anti social finance, breaching human rights and workers' rights.
The report focused its research on two Glencore subsidiaries, the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) and Mutanda Mining (MUMI), who both operated in the DRC. It was reported that these companies supplied 19% of Glencore’s copper and 82% of its cobalt, which were used in the production of an array of electronic appliances.
Glencore disputes the findings.
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