On 24 February 2022, members from the El Asiento, Talami, and Villa Alhué communities in Chile, represented by law firm Justicia y Reparación, filed a complaint against Canadian company Yamana Gold at NCP Canada. The complaint concerns the operations of the company’s Chilean subsidiary Minera Florida.
The complainants allege environmental damage at Minera Florida’s Pedro Valencia mine. The company allegedly breached an existing environmental permit, negatively impacting water and air quality standards and causing loss of vegetation. The negative environmental impacts have also affected the human rights of the community members.
The complainants sought the NCP’s assistance to resolve the issues.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
On 25 October 2022, NCP Canada published its initial assessment, in which it rejected the complaint.
The NCP considered the environmental concerns raised in the complaint to be material and substantiated, but not the human rights issues. The NCP decided that consideration of the issues would not contribute to the purposes and effectiveness of the Guidelines because the complainant had not yet undertaken a dialogue with Minera Florida. The offer of good offices was considered to be premature.
The NCP recommended for the parties to engage in dialogue through the company’s grievance mechanism, with the presence of the NCP as an observer. The complainants had previously expressed a lack of trust in the company’s grievance mechanism. The NCP stated that if the parties could not reach a common understanding of the issue or, if the complainant was dissatisfied with the functioning of the company’s grievance mechanism, the NCP “remains open” to reconsidering the case. The NCP will actively follow-up on the case.