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Glencore-Katanga Mining Ltd., Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The largest worldwide production of Cobalt brings environmental and water pollution, but also child and forced labour, smuggling of materials, fiscal and tax evasion, violence on activists and human rights defenders


Summary of the conflict: The company Katanga Mining Ltd. operates a copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This corporation is a subsidiary of Glencore, and is owned by the latter for a stake of 75%. Katanga Mining also holds a 75% stake in two joint ventures with Gécamines, a state-owned mining company in the DRC: Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) and DRC Copper and Cobalt Project (DCP). Overall, Glencore has in the DRC most of its worldwide production of Cobalt. The impacts of the company’s activities span from air and environmental pollution to water pollution, but also child and forced labour, smuggling of materials, fiscal and tax evasion, violence on activists and human rights defenders.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Glencore-Katanga Mining Ltd., Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Country:Congo, Dem. Rep.
State or province:Katanga province
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Copper
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Glencore Public Limited Company from Switzerland
Gécamines from Congo, Dem. Rep.
Katanga Mining Ltd. from Congo, Dem. Rep.
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)
International Monetary Fund (FMI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Benchmarks, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Permanent Peoples Tribunal
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

UN Basic Principles on the use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Official
[click to view]

Basic Principles and Guideline issues on “development-based evictions and displacement”
[click to view]

UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials
[click to view]

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Report: PR or Progress? Glencore’s Corporate Responsibility in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
[click to view]

Kamoto Copper Company - Industrial mining and social development: The case

of Kamoto Copper Company (KCC)
[click to view]

The Benchmarks Foundation
[click to view]

GlencoreXstrata faces questions over deals made with friend of DRC leader, The Guardian, 19 May 2014
[click to view]

Global Campaign to Stop Corporate Impunity
[click to view]

Business World, "Glencore invests in Congo hydropower as solution to blackouts"
[click to view]

Testimony of the case in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal Hearing - Corporate Human Rights Violations and Peoples Access to Justice. Geneva, 23 June 2014
[click to view]

Mining giant Glencore accused in child labour and acid dumping row, The Guardian, 12 April 2012
[click to view]

Mining Watch Canada
[click to view]

Reuters: Glencore invests in Congo hydropower as solution to blackouts
[click to view]

Other comments:See more at:
Meta information
Contributor:Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Transnational Institute - TNI, Friends of the Earth International
Last update19/02/2019
Conflict ID:1999
Related conflicts
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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