Date filed
19 January 2021
Countries of harm
Current status


On 19 January 2021, the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) filed specific instances against five companies affiliated with the Cerrejón coal mine in northern Colombia with the NCPs of Ireland, the UK, Australia, and Switzerland. The complaints were supported by a collection of regional and international NGOs (Christian Aid, CAJAR, CINEP/PPP, AIDA, ASK, and ABColombia).

The complaints allege that the Cerrejón mine has caused adverse human rights impacts by displacing indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities without their free, prior, and informed consent. The complaints further allege that the mine has polluted the air and water in the vicinity of the mine with consequent human rights impacts.

The first complaint was filed in Australia, Switzerland, and the UK against Cerrejón’s three parent companies: Anglo American, BHP, and Glencore. The second complaint was filed in Ireland against Coal Marketing Company (CMC), which is the exclusive marketer of Cerrejón coal. The third complaint was filed in Ireland against the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), an Irish state-owned enterprise that has purchased coal from Cerrejón. The complainants are seeking mediation with a view to ensuring the progressive closure of the Cerrejón mine and remediation of existing adverse human rights impacts.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


On 8 September 2022, NCP Ireland determined that pursuing the complaint could not contribute to the resolution of the issues raised and that it would not be reasonable to conduct mediation with CMC as the company had ceased trading.

At the time of the submission of the complaint, CMC was registered in Dublin and was fully and equally owned by Anglo American plc, BHP, and Glencore. During the initial assessment process, Glencore acquired all the interests of Anglo American and BHP in the Cerrejón mine and, on 11 January 2022, CMC became 100% owned by Glencore. NCP Ireland was informed that CMC had novated its agency agreement with Cerrejón and Glencore effective from 1 March 2022 and CMC’s functions and contractual relationships would be absorbed by Glencore as CMC had ceased operations.

NCP Ireland closed the complaint on the basis that facilitating mediation between the complainants and CMC, which ceased trading, would not contribute to the resolution of the issues.

More details

Company in violation
Other companies involved
Affected people
Other NCP's where the complaint was filed
Date rejected / concluded
8 September 2022

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