The Norwegian-owned Mindoro Nickel Project in the Philippines should consult a broader group of indigenous peoples and be more transparent about adverse environmental impacts, concludes the OECD National Contact Point (NCP) Norway.
The Future in Our Hands (FIOH) filed a complaint against Intex Resources to the Norwegian NCP in January 2009. Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links and Alamin support the complaint regarding the Mindoro Nickel Project (MNP).
The NCP recognises that the project is still at a planning stage but finds that the company does not act in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for stakeholder consultations and the environment. The NCP also makes recommendation to how the company can know and show that it minimises risk for adverse impacts in the environment and on local communities, especially indigenous peoples. The NCP has not found evidence for allegations of corruption, but finds that the involvement of Intex merits further investigation by appropriate authorities.
Intex has conducted extensive environmental and social assessments, they have consulted with some indigenous groups and they plan to use technically advanced solutions to reduce potential adverse environmental impact. But the company still has a ways to go to operate fully in compliance with the OECD Guidelines, says Head of the Norwegian NCP, dean and professor Hans Petter Graver.
Key recommendations concern improved stakeholder consultations and environmental assessments and information. The company is advised to perform due diligence to know and show that it minimises risk for adverse impacts in the environment and on local communities, especially indigenous peoples.
The NCP recommends the company to identify primary and secondary indigenous groups potentially affected by the MNP and consult all indigenous peoples affected by the mine and associated infrastructure.
Intex should develop the EIA in accordance with the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards, make the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) publicly available in local languages, finalise the EIA in dialogue with all relevant groups, and ensure a review by an independent third party. The NCP recommends the company to establish a grievance management system in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and covering the range of possible grievances including environmental health and safety, labour rights, and community grievances.
The complaint is assessed against the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, Recommendations for Responsible Business Conduct. All members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have a National Contact Point (NCP) to handle complaints against companies for violations of the OECD Guidelines.
The Norwegian NCP concludes the complaint after almost three years of examination. The NCP was reorganised and made independent from the government in 2010. The new NCP entered into office on 1 March 2011. By this date the former NCP had already commissioned an independent report from JSL Consulting, which was sent to the company on 25 February 2011. The new NCP invited the complainant and the company to facilitate dialogue 20 March 2011, but the offer was rejected. Hence the NCP started working on its assessment of the complaint. On 20 June the NCP sent a list of questions for further clarifications. Both the complainant and the company received a draft NCP report on 7 November 2011. When the NCP finally adopted the report on 28 November 2011, it was changed in the light of comments from both parties.
Key sources in this final statement are documentation from the parties, an independent fact-finding report by JSL Consulting commissioned by the Norwegian NCP, environmental expert reports, embassy reports, Philippine laws and regulations, UN documents and other reports.
- Final statement: Complaint from The Future in Our Hands (FIOH) against Intex Resources ASA and the Mindoro Nickel Project
- Report of the fact-finding mission to Mindoro, the Philippines
- Questions from the Norwegian NCP to the company