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Canada Tibet Committee vs. China Gold Int. Resources

Case overview

Date filed 29 January 2014
Current status Concluded
Issue Environmental, HR & disclosure issues China Gold Int.
Summary of the case On 29 March 2013, Chinese state media reported that 83 miners were buried after a major landslide hit part of the Gyama Copper Polymetallic Mine located in the Pulang Valley in Siphug Village of Tashi Gang Town in Central Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region). There were no survivors. The workers were reportedly asleep in their tents when they were buried by a mass of mud, rocks, and debris that was three kilometres wide and thirty metres deep. The camp where the workers were buried belongs to Tibet Huatailong Mining Development Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Gold International Resources.

Although the Chinese government has stated that the landslide was a natural disaster, CTC alleges that there is documented evidence that it was in fact a manmade disaster and that the company had ignored previous warnings and local protests.

In addition, the complaint describes numerous other disputes with local stakeholders that remain unresolved and are indicative of a range of continuing violations of the Guidelines.

The complaint was filed by CTC because members of affected communities are unable to bring forward public complaints for reasons of personal security.
Developments/Outcome After confirming receipt on 28 January, CTC did not hear from the NCP until 17 April, when the NCP informed CTC that China Gold was unwilling to engage in the process despite multiple requests from the NCP.

Though it never formally issued an initial assessment, in April 2015 the Canadian NCP released a final statement “accepting” the case and concluding that China Gold had not demonstrated that it is operating in a manner that can be considered to be consistent with the OECD Guidelines.

Interestingly, in its final statement, the NCP took the unprecedented step of imposing sanctions on the company for failing to engage in the complaint process, including withdrawing Trade Commissioner Services and other Canadian advocacy support abroad. This is a first in the NCP system. The sanctions can be repealed if the company eventually does engage with the NCP or somehow shows that is has engaged in good-faith dialogue with CTC.

The final statement also made recommendations to China Gold with respect to human rights due diligence including the importance of undertaking human rights impact assessments of the potential impacts of anticipated activities, and of disclosing any past or future reports.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Health and safety, Extractives / mining sector, Forced evictions and resettlement, Labour rights, Human rights, Environment, Disclosure of information

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Canada
NCP address
NCP website http://www.ncp-pcn.gc.ca/
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd.
Company address
Company website
Company in violation China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd.
Country of operations
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
1 April 2015 National Contact Point Canada statement The Canadian NCP issues its final statement download pdf (424Kb)  
29 January 2014 Canada Tibet Committee file Complaint filed with Canadian NCP download pdf (995Kb)  

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