A complaint has been brought by Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), a human rights organisation, concerning mining assets controlled by companies associated with Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including Canadian company Africo Resources. The complaint, under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, concerns the impoverished population of Kisankala village and Lenge village, which are located on two mining concessions in the province of Katanga. Kisankala is within the Kalukundi concession (also known as Swanmines) and Lenge is in the neighbouring Comide concession. RAID promotes respect for human rights and responsible conduct by companies.
ENRC has a 63 per cent interest in Africo Resources Ltd., a company listed on the Toronto stock exchange, which has a 75 per cent interest in the Société d’Exploitation des Gisements de Kalukundi – Swanmines. Gécamines (the Congolese state-owned mining company) has the remaining 25 per cent.
Kisankala village’s only clean water system has been in disrepair for over 10 months, following a clash between local security guards and artisanal miners based at Kisankala.
“This is an urgent and pressing matter which is causing ongoing hardship to the population of the village,” said Tricia Feeney, RAID’s Executive Director, who visited Kisankala in March 2013.
This is not the first time this has happened. In October 2009, Amnesty International wrote to Chris Theodoropoulus, the Chairman of Africo, calling on the company to restore the Kisankala water supply, which had been disconnected for months. Africo claimed that artisanal miners had ransacked Africo’s camp and broken the generator and that it had been fixed once the company had been made aware of the problem. In 2012 ENRC acquired its interest in Africo.
“Apart from the Kisankala water supply, the other objective of the complaint is to address underlying problems such as the claims concerning resettlement and compensation, the alleged absence of environmental and social monitoring, particularly for Lenge village, and the alleged behaviour of private security guards,” said barrister Tom Bradford of Russell-Cooke LLP, which is acting for RAID.
RAID is calling on the UK National Contact Point to assess whether there have been any breaches of the principles and standards under the OECD Guidelines, in particular the recommendations to companies to respect the human rights of those affected by their activities. The complaint does not relate to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office’s on-going investigation into the activities of ENRC or its subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Africa.
For more information, please contact:
· Tricia Feeney, RAID: +44 (0) 7796178447
· Tom Bradford, Russell-Cooke LLP: + 44 2083946471
RAID’s publications are available at www.raid-uk.org.
 Africo Resources letter to Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International dated 15 October 2009