Zijin Mining's Rio Blanco project -- reports on conflict & company responses, Apr 2011
Since the Rio Blanco project was first proposed for the Huancabamba region of Peru in the early 2000s, there have been concerns about the environmental impact on the local community and the failure of the mining company, Majaz Mining Company, to obtain the community's consent. In 2004 there was a violent incident in which seven people were killed and in the following year villagers were detained following protests at the site. (Oxfam America has compiled a history of the conflict, which can be accessed here. For information on the lawsuit filed against the parent company, UK-based Monterrico Metals, in a British court, click here.)
In April 2009 the Zijin Mining Consortium -- consisting of Zijin Mining Group (45%), Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group (35%) and Xiamen Construction and Development (20%) -- acquired a 90% stake in the mine from Monterrico Metals. In December 2009, police forces allegedly entered a local village and opened fired on farmers who blocked the road, killing two. NGOs and the media reported on the incident, and in February 2011 a film was released documenting it using footage shot by villagers at the time.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the three members of the Zijin Mining Consortium to respond to the film and two earlier reports:
Film of the aftermath of the police attacks on the village of Cajas Canchaque, Peru [video], Michael Watts (filmmaker), 1 Feb 2011
Mining conflict in Perú leaves two dead", Daan Janssens, CATAPA [Belgium], 4 Dec 2009
"Cruento enfrentamiento deja dos muertos en Huancabamba", El Regional de Piura, 3 Dec 2009
- Zijin Mining - declined to repond
- Tongling Nonferrous Metals - declined to respond
- Xiamen Construction and Development - declined to respond
In March 2011, four NGOs -- CooperAcion, Fedepaz, Friends of the Earth-US, CATAPA -- sent a letter to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange [PDF] regarding Zijin Mining's disclosure of environmental and social risks in relation to Rio Blanco. The letter called on the Exchange to ensure that Zijin Mining discloses its "material" risks, citing the Exchange's rules. On 4 March, South China Morning Post reported on the letter: "Global green groups attack mainland miner" (Eric Ng, South China Morning Post, 4 Mar 2011)
On 7 April, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Hong Kong Stock Exchange to comment on the letter. The Exchange sent the following reply:
April 10, 2011
Dear Ms. Chan and Mr. Avery,
Thank you for your e mail of 7 April 2011 referring to a letter from CATAPA, CooperAccion, Fedepaz, and Friends of the Earth dated 2 Mar 2011.
The Exchange has a policy of looking into concerns raised about listed companies on matters related to the Listing Rules, such as disclosure obligations of listed companies. However, it is our general policy not to comment on individual companies, individuals, or cases. This policy enables the Exchange to conduct our enquiries and investigations on a confidential basis to preserve the integrity of the process, as well as to ensure that the Exchange meet its statutory obligation to maintain confidentiality.
Please rest assured that we consider all complaints and enquiries, and take the most appropriate regulatory action in the circumstances.
For and on behalf of
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited
Senior Vice President