Current status


The Australian venture capital mining company MRC Ltd has ambitions to mine in an environmentally sensitive and pristine stretch of coastline on the Pondoland Wild Coast of South Africa, which has been inhabited for centuries by the amaMpondo Indigenous People. The sacred ancestral land of the AmaDiba clan, one of the 21 constituent Chiefdoms of the amaMpondo, is host to their revered ancestors.

The South African government provisionally awarded mining rights to the Amadibas land in 2008 but after an outcry from the community revoked them in 2011. The Environmental Impact Assessment revealed that the negative impacts of mining could not be adequately mitigated. Moreover, analysis of economic benefits showed that the profits and other benefits from a 25-year mining venture could only accrue at the cost of the once thriving and much more appropriate income generation opportunities from a community based eco-tourism venture, which was already providing income opportunities for 400 local residents. Even the effect of the six-year prospecting process on the eco-tourism industry was devastating. Eco-tourism was beginning to recover when the same mining company returned to lodge a fresh prospecting rights application.

Members of the indigenous Amadiba clan allege that MRC Ltd co-opted, intimidated and subverted the members of the clan in order to obtain their consent for the issuing of a mining license on ancestral land. Other issues raised in the complaint include adverse environmental impacts, loss of livelihood, inadequate disclosure of project plans and impact assessments, and bribery.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


After conducting an initial assessment, the Australian NCP rejected the case on the grounds that the complainants expressed unwillingness to enter into mediation with the company and because the mineral exploration rights are currently being considered by the relevant local authorities. The NCP declined to investigate the allegations in the complainant.

More details

Company in violation
Affected people
Date rejected / concluded
8 March 2013