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Norwegian Nickel Controversy

Strongly worded Final statement from the Norwegian NCP for the alleged breaches of OECD guidelines of Intex Resources ASA

Jan 04, 2012

The Norwegian NCP issues its final statement regarding the complaint filed by Framtiden i våre hender against Norway-based Intex Resources for violating indigenous peoples’ human and environmental rights in 2009. In its final statement the Norwegian NCP concludes that Norwegian-owned Mindoro Nickel Project in the Philippines should consult a broader group of indigenous peoples and be more transparent about adverse environmental impacts.

After the NCP received the complaint in 2009, the complaint was forwarded to Intex. Intex submitted its response and several meetings were held between the different parties. In order to further examine the allegations the NCP commissioned a fact-finding mission conducted by independent experts in accordance with mutually agreed terms. After no movement on the case has made for almost a year, in 2011 the recently reconstructed independent Norwegian NCP picked up the case in March 2011 and offered its services in relation to mediation, which the parties declined

The NCP continued with examining the complaint in accordance with the relevant provisions of the OECD Guidelines and issued its final statement, using all the submitted information by Intex and Framtiden i våre hender. With regards to the main accusations the NCP concluded that Intex neglected to consult the “affected” indigenous groups or inform the stakeholders of the possible environmental damages. On the basis of the OECD Guidelines, the NCP applied a broad interpretation of “consultation” and states that it does not only include those that inhabit a specific land, but also those who use it according to their tradition and culture. In the view of the NCP, Intex should have systematically investigated how many indigenous people would be affected by their activities and consult them. Intex had conducted impact assessments which identified and addressed some of the environmental and social points discussed in the complaint, however, according to the NCP the analysis of Intex is lacking on some important points such as more detailed management and monitoring plans. Intex was furthermore accused of bribery in relation to its mining exploration permits.  Concerning this allegation, the NCP concluded that it could not find any evidence indicating any involvement in bribery or corruption. However, more investigation is needed in order to clarify certain transactions of Intex with other parties.

The NCP made several recommendations where Intex can make improvements, among others with regards to consultation, disclosure and transparency, and its grievance mechanism. In addition, as overall assessment the NCP stated that due diligence processes apply in all states of production including the planning of activities. For instance, the NCP advised Intex to conduct a proper due diligence in all relevant areas by going beyond identifying and managing material risks to the enterprise, and by including the risks of possible impact related to all matters covered by the OECD Guidelines.

 For more information also see the OECD Watch case database


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