Current status


The complaint concerns the operations of Ecuacorriente S.A., an Ecuadorian subsidiary of Corriente Resources and CRCC-Tongguan Investment (Canada) Co., Ltd., which holds the first contract with the Ecuadorian government for the Mirador project. Both companies are Canadian subsidiaries of the Chinese conglomerate CRCC-Tongguan, which acquired Corriente Resources and all of its holdings in Ecuador in 2010.

The complaint alleges multiple violations, including a lack of adequate environmental evaluation and numerous human rights abuses such as forced displacement and lack of respect for Indigenous People’s rights. Local families, both indigenous and campesino, are allegedly being forcibly displaced to make way for the open-pit copper mine.

The consultation process is alleged to have been marred by a lack of full disclosure and transparency, lack of adequate environmental impact studies, and lack of free, prior and informed consent of or consultation with affected communities.

The company has allegedly fuelled division among the affected communities and is complicit in violent state repression of protests against large-scale mining in the area.

The complainants further contend that the likelihood of acid mine drainage and other environmental impacts of the mine in the highly ecologically sensitive area, coupled with the company’s lack of human rights due diligence and implementation of remedial measures, poses a serious threat to the local communities’ access to water, land, livelihood, and way of life. The complainants call on the NCP to ensure that the Guidelines are being implemented by recommending that the company respect the rights of communities and nature, as enshrined in the Ecuadorian Constitution and other national and international instruments, and ultimately desist from further mining activities in Ecuador.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


The NCP confirmed receipt of the complaint on 25 July 2013 and requested translations of certain documents, which were provided within five weeks.

More than a half-year later, on 4 April 2014, the NCP said it had received additional information from the company that caused the prolonged delay in publishing its initial assessment. One year after the complaint was filed, the Canadian NCP announced it was rejecting the complaint in July 2014. As ground for its decision, the NCP argued that the allegations had not been substantiated, although it never requested clarification or further input from the complainants regarding any of the allegations at any point during the course of the year. The complainants are disappointed that the NCP appears to have disregarded the comprehensive information they provided. They feel that that the NCP has inappropriately applied an extremely high standard for substantiation at the initial assessment phase. They note that the Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct has stated that the substantiation standard in the Guidelines is only meant to prevent frivolous complaints and is not meant to set an “unreasonable threshold for offering good offices”, as they feel the Canadian NCP has done in this case.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the Mirador Mine is held by EcuaCorriente, a company based in Ecuador, and the project managed by CRCC-Tongguan based in China, the NCP nevertheless indicated it would have been willing to admit the complaint because the company has a subsidiary in Canada and neither Ecuador nor China are adherents to the OECD Guidelines.

More details