Presentation at compass conference 25 june 2011


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  • Members include ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa), CATAPA (Comite Academico Tecnico de Asesoramiento a Problemas Ambientales), Colombia Solidarity Campaign, The Corner House, Corporate Watch, Down to Earth (the ecological campaign for Indonesia), ECCR (Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility), Forest Peoples Programme, LAMMP (Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme), Partizans (People Against Rio Tinto and its Subsidiaries), PIPLinks (Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links), TAPOL (the Indonesia human rights campaign) and the Society of St Columban. LMN’s twelve observer groups include leading human rights, environmental and development organisations.
  • UK-listed mining companies together enjoy around half the market capital available to the world’s ten biggest miners. The British government has consistently backed UK mining companies, despite the many accusations laid at their doors. In January 2011, four of the world’s top five mining companies (by value in the market, or market capitalisation) were listed on the London Stock Exchange (the exception being Vale). The market capitalisation of these top five mining companies (in billions of US dollars) was, according to mining analyst Barry Sergeant of Mineweb: 1) BHP Billiton (Australia/UK) 242.19 2) Vale (Brazil) 182.83 3) Rio Tinto (UK/Australia) 143.30 4) Anglo American (UK) 69.37 5) Xstrata (UK/Switzerland) 69.13 London is the world’s biggest centre for investment in the minerals industry: British high street and investment banks, pension funds and insurance companies invest hundreds of millions of pounds a year in scores of mining projects across the globe, connecting working people’s earnings in Britain with the fate of mining-affected communities around the world. London is the world’s biggest centre for investment in the minerals industry: British high street and investment banks (like Barclays, HSBC, RBS, Citibank and Standard Chartered), pension funds, hedge funds and insurance companies invest hundreds of millions of pounds a year in scores of dubious mining projects across the globe, connecting working people’s earnings in Britain with the fate of mining-affected communities around the world.
  • Presentation at compass conference 25 june 2011

    1. 1. UK Companies in Conflict Presentation for Compass Conference 25 June 2011   By Andy Whitmore, London Mining Network (
    2. 2. London Mining Network <ul><li>The London Mining Network (LMN) is an alliance of 25 human rights, development and environmental groups </li></ul><ul><li>LMN pledges to expose the role of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, London-based funders and the British Government in the promotion of unacceptable mining practices </li></ul><ul><li>LMN does this by publishing reports, participating as “dissident” shareholders in company meetings, holding educational events and, where appropriate, addressing decision makers such as investment institutions, politicians and other NGOs    </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why London? <ul><li>Most of the world’s biggest mining companies, and many smaller mining companies, are listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or on its Alternative Investment Market, (AIM). 4 of the world’s top 5 mining companies were listed on the London Stock Exchange (the exception being Vale) </li></ul><ul><li>London is the world’s biggest centre for investment in the minerals industry </li></ul><ul><li>The mining industry’s key lobbying organisation, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is based in London, as is the London Metal exchange, and the leading precious metals trader, the London Bullion Market Association </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why Mining? <ul><li>Leaving environmental issues aside, LMN's main concern is on the disproportionately negative impact on land-based communities, especially Indigenous Peoples </li></ul><ul><li>Mining is frequently associated with forced evictions, militarisation, conflict and human rights abuses </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. John Ruggie noted that “the extractive sector – oil, gas, and mining – utterly dominates this sample of reported abuses, with two-thirds of the total” received by him </li></ul><ul><li>It is estimated that 60% of the world remaining mineral resources are located in Indigenous Peoples Territories </li></ul>
    5. 5. Wide spread of cases <ul><li>Myth that problems are only associated with 'junior' companies, or other countries (e.g. China – case of Monterrico metals in Peru) </li></ul><ul><li>However, despite large CSR programmes, the big companies (Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Anglo American all have case studies we could have used </li></ul><ul><li>The historically classic example of rights conflict & natural resources is around Rio Tinto (CRA) & Bougainville </li></ul><ul><li>There are a number of companies recently listed, or about to be listed, on the stock exchange with potential problems e.g. Glencore, Vallar, London Mining plc </li></ul>
    6. 6. African Barrick Gold <ul><li>Barrick Gold Corp of Canada “spun off” the company’s four main Tanzanian mining operations on the LSE in March 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>History of low level conflict with displaced land-owners & artisanal gold miners </li></ul><ul><li>Bloomberg journalist, Cam Simpson, reported in December 2010 that: “At least 7 people have been killed in clashes with security forces at the mine in the past two years” </li></ul><ul><li>ABG mostly denied this (but did acknowledge some deaths in its pre-listing prospectus) </li></ul>
    7. 7. African Barrick Gold <ul><li>On 16 May 2011, 5 men were shot dead by security forces at North Mara, while at least a dozen were injured, when around 800 persons entered the mine site in search of gold ore </li></ul><ul><li>ABG called the incident “deeply concerning”, but as before has never admitted responsibility. Local leaders say ABG employs police officers to provide mine security, and allege that African Barrick is benefiting from their actions </li></ul><ul><li>ABG is a signatory to the “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights”, yet has sought to down-play fatal incidents, and the role of the mine in them. It has failed to join calls for an independent enquiry </li></ul>
    8. 8. Gasaya Matiku, the uncle of 19-year-old Chacha Ngoka Chacha, with a photo of his nephew, who was killed at African Barrick's mine on 16 May 2011 The police refused to allow relatives to hold a memorial Source: Jocelyn Edwards, Toronto Star
    9. 9. Vedanta <ul><li>Vedanta Resources registered on the London Stock Exchange in 2003. It is the world’s 17th largest publicly-listed mining company </li></ul><ul><li>It is essentially a vehicle for Anil Agarwal, Vedanta’s founder, majority share owner and Executive Chairman (and his family) </li></ul><ul><li>In a number of scandals around the company the most well known is a fight over their attempts to mine the Niyamgiri hills, which have brought them into conflict with the Dongria Kondh people living there </li></ul>
    10. 10. Vedanta <ul><li>In a 2009 complaint before the OECD complaints mechanism, the UK National Contact Point ruled that Vedanta “did not respect the rights of the Dongria Kondh”; did not “consider the impact of the construction of the mine on the [tribe's] rights”; and that it “failed to put in place an adequate and timely consultation mechanism”. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007 the Norway’s Council on Ethics concluded that: “[C]ontinuing to invest in the … company would present an unacceptable risk of contributing to grossly unethical activities.” </li></ul><ul><li>The mining project was cancelled by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests in mid-2010, with the international campaign but accusations of violations continue </li></ul>
    11. 11. Red Mud Pond at Lanjigarh, 23 May 2011 Source: Amnesty International
    12. 12. What is to be done...? <ul><li>There is:- </li></ul><ul><li>the need for greater transparency of business operations </li></ul><ul><li>better accountability of businesses for their impacts </li></ul><ul><li>improved access to justice for victims of harmful corporate conduct </li></ul><ul><li>Vehicles for this could include:- </li></ul><ul><li>An effective replacement to the FSA (expel companies from LSE) </li></ul><ul><li>Legislation following Dodd-Frank (Sec 1502) or C-300, or RMI </li></ul><ul><li>A UK Commission for Business, Human Rights & the Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Improved company law (& reporting under company law) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Statement of John Rumbiak, ELSHAM <ul><li>To put an end to these dynamics of destruction and violence, the international community - particularly international investors - must, first and foremost, recognize indigenous communities' basic rights to chart their own development paths, to manage their own resources, to pursue their traditional livelihoods and cultures, and to say NO to multinational operations on their lands. The failure to respect communities' basic right to &quot;just say no&quot; exists at the heart of the nexus of human rights violations, environmental degradation and conflict. </li></ul>