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3 Jul 2023

Accountability Counsel & Inclusive Development International

China: A Guide to a New Grievance Mechanism for the Mining Industry, with Emphasis on Chinese Corporations

By Accountability Counsel & Inclusive Development International

As of May 2023, people impacted by the mining industry have a new forum to raise environmental and social concerns. The new mechanism, called the Mediation and Consultation Mechanism for the Mining Industry and Mineral Value Chain, is also the first grievance mechanism applicable to many Chinese corporations engaged in the mining and mineral value chain. A person, community, organization, or company can file an application alleging that any actor in the mining and mineral value chain has not complied with international environmental and social standards and seek redress for negative impacts.

The Mediation and Consultation Mechanism was established by industry associations and is voluntary and consensus based, without a compliance review function. It does not have the power to require any party to participate in the process or enforce any agreement by the concerned parties.

This guide is designed to help explain the Mechanism’s procedures for individuals and communities harmed by corporate behavior. This mechanism is new, currently in the pilot phase, and has yet to manage any cases. Based on the mechanism’s written procedures, Accountability Counsel and Inclusive Development International offer this guide for people trying to understand what to expect from the mechanism, styled as commonly asked questions and answers. We will update this guide as and when more information becomes available.

Disclaimer: This guide is based on Accountability Counsel and Inclusive Development International’s independent interpretation of the Mediation and Consultation Mechanism Procedures. In case of any doubts, please refer to the original Procedures Document.  All citations below refer to the Procedures Document.

  1. What is the Mediation and Consultation Mechanism for the Mining Industry and Mineral Value Chain?
  2. What official documents explain the Mediation and Consultation Mechanism for the Mining Industry and Mineral Value Chain?
  3. How is the mechanism managed and by whom?
  4. Who can file an application?
  5. Who can I file an application against?
  6. Can I only file an application in cases involving members of CCCMC and RCI?
  7. What types of applications are accepted?
  8. How do I file an application?
  9. What happens during the Mechanism process?
  10. Will there be independent fact-finding during the mediation process?
  11. How are the experts and institutions selected for the fact-finding and assessment processes?
  12. Can applicants have a representative advise them during the process?
  13. Can an applicant request confidentiality?
  14. Can the Mechanism require a respondent company to participate in the process?
  15. Does an applicant have to notify a respondent that it is planning to file an application?
  16. How long will the case process take?
  17. What are the potential outcomes of the mediation and consultation process?
  18. How will the Problem-solving Plan be implemented?
  19. Can the Secretariat monitor the implementation of the Problem-Solving Plan?
  20. What if community members who are impacted by a project fear or are facing reprisals?
  21. Does the mechanism cover the costs of the process?
  22. Where can I find information about my case and what information will be disclosed?
  23. How can I contact the Mechanism?

Part of the following timelines

China: Belt & Road and Green Overseas Development

China: Top mining industry association launches mediation and consultation mechanism for complaints across the mineral value chain