On 12 June 2019, a group of 26 neighbours of Villa Estadio, a district in Tierra Amarilla Communie in Chile, filed a complaint against Minera Candelaria, a mining company, which is 80% owned by Canadian-based metal mining company Lundin Mining and 20% owned by Sumitomo.
The complaint alleges that the company’s operations had failed to observe the General Policies, Human Rights, and Environment Chapters of the Guidelines. Specifically, the complainants allege that the company’s operations have caused continuous blasting in close proximity to their residences, persistent pollution resulting from the activities conducted, an increase in truck road traffic, and an ongoing accumulation of waste generated throughout the operations. According to the complainants, the company’s activities have specifically generated insecurity among elders and children, created damage to dwellings, and dumped waste in areas affecting group of neighbours and school children.
The complainants are seeking the NCP’s good offices to resolve the issues between the community and company. The complainants specifically request for the company to build permanent and sustainable solutions to the issues affecting the community through a participatory, public, and regulated process that ensures transparency and soundness.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
In its October 2020 initial assessment, NCP Chile considered that the issues merited further examination. The NCP offered its good offices to the parties involved, which was accepted by complainants. According to the NCP, after extending the deadline twice, the company did not accept the offer of good offices, but instead proposed an improved, comprehensive Work Plan for community stakeholders with a specific focus on Villa Estadio area. This included:
- Round tables with Villa Estadio area residents
- Participation of Villa Estadio residents in vibration monitoring campaigns
- Monthly meetings with residents and community leaders
- The company maintaining relationship with community leaders and door-to-door approach to neighbours
- Improved communication to provide ongoing information about CMMC operations and activities.
On 18 August 2022, the NCP issued a final statement, in which the NCP concluded good offices between the parties without reaching agreement. In the final statement, the NCP made recommendations to the complainant and the company to maintain open and good faith communication in dialogue. The NCP recommended the enterprise to:
- Promote responsible business conduct aligned with the OECD Guidelines
- Strengthen the implementation of risk-based due diligence processes in managing the company
- Make the greatest efforts possible to prevent its operations, activities, products or services generating or contributing to generate a negative impact
- Exerting its influence in regards to due diligence so that its business partners, including suppliers and subcontractors
- Create meaningful stakeholder engagement
The NCP followed up with the parties 12 months after issuing its final statement. The NCP determined that the recommendations had been followed and closed the procedure.