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RAID vs. Ridgepoint

Case overview

Date filed 28 June 2004
Current status Withdrawn
Issue UK companies & illegal resource exploitation in DRC
Summary of the case In October 2002, a United Nations Panel of Experts accused 85 OECD-based companies of violating the Guidelines for their direct or indirect roles in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to the Panel, “some of Gecamines’ best cobalt producing areas were transferred to a joint venture between Mr. Rautenbach’s Ridgepoint Overseas Developments Ltd. and the Central Mining Group, a Congolese company, controlled by Pierre-Victor Mpoyo, then Minister of State”.

Mr. Rautenbach was appointed Chairman of Gecamines(the state-owned mining company) in November 1998, but was removed from his post inMarch 1999 following an audit by Ernst & Young. At the time Mr. Rautenbach was both Managing Director of Gecamines and of the joint venture, “a blatant conflict of interest”. The Panel alleges that Mr. Rautenbach was appointed by President Kabila to head Gecamines, because of his close ties to the ruling ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe.

In 2000, the DRC Government withdrew Mr. Rautenbach’s mining concessions reportedly after he had failed to pay the Government’s share of the profits from the joint venture. President Kabila allegedly accused him of transferring profits to a shell company, as well asstockpiling cobalt in South Africa. Mr. Rautenbach has resumed his cobalt mining activities in Katanga.

Developments/Outcome The case against Ridgepoint has been blocked by the UK NCP. The UK NCP claimed the case was resolved by the UN Panel and could not be reopened. Due to the NCP’s inaction, RAID withdrew the complaint.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Secteur minier, La participation politique, Procédures judiciaires parallèles, Organisation des Nations Unies, Les conflits violents, Corruption

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address 1-19 Victoria Street SW1H 0ET London, Inglaterra
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible Ridgepoint International Developments Ltd
Company address
Company website
Company in violation Ridgepoint International Developments Ltd
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
28 February 2007 Rights and Accountability in Development case dropped RAID withdraws the complaint. The UK NCP claims the case has been resolved by the UN Panel and cannot be reopened.  
28 June 2004 Rights and Accountability in Development file Complaint filed with UK NCP. download pdf (49Kb)  

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