COLOMBIAN MINING COMPANIES MEET VATTENFALL’S MINIMAL CRITERIA

COLOMBIA In May this year, Vattenfall added three minimal criteria for Colombian coal suppliers in addition to the company’s ordinary due diligence criteria. The aim was to ensure that mining companies publicly support the Colombian government in its efforts for reconciliation for human rights violation in the Cesar region during the period 1996-2006. Compliance with these criteria is a prerequisite to qualify as a direct supplier of hard coal to Vattenfall

Vattenfall’s assessment of the Colombian mining companies Glencore/Prodeco and Drummond on these three criteria show that both of them now meet Vattenfall’s requirements from this respect.

“According to the information we have gathered, Vattenfall concludes that the mining companies Glencore/Prodeco and Drummond comply with these minimal criteria,” says Annika Ramsköld, head of Corporate Sustainability at Vattenfall. “Both companies show a sufficiently strong wording in their public statements condemning past human rights violations, their public support of the Colombian Peace Process and the reconciliation procedure for victims of past human rights violations. In addition to these public statements, both companies are involved in a range of projects in Colombia to support their statements.”

Vattenfall bases its assessment on publicly available information as well as meetings with both mining companies. “The information that we received from the mining companies during and after our meetings signalled to us that they back their public commitment with actions that go into the right direction,“ Ramsköld says.

Earlier, preliminary assessment result indicated that one of the companies, Drummond, would not comply to Vattenfall’s criteria. However, recent acts and statements from the mining company has changed that.

 “After our preliminary assessment,  Drummond has committed to a stronger public support of the Colombian government in its efforts for reconciliation for past human rights violation in the Cesar region. Because of that, Vattenfall has changed its assessment of the company, and has reached the conclusion that Drummond now does comply with our three criteria,” Ramsköld says.

“We see the changed public wording of Drummond as a first step in the right direction. Ultimately, we should all strive for actions that lead to a tangible improvements for affected people. We are clearly not there yet. However, in our view, the public statements are an indication that both mining companies are willing to support the Colombian peace process and the reconciliation procedure for victims of past human rights violations.”

With the recently rejected peace deal in the country , the whole peace process is now at a crucial stage, and even more than before. The mining companies see their role being to support the state and not to hinder the peace process by sidestepping the official Colombian government process and taking individual action. “This is a position we have respect for and share in the very complex situation of Colombia,” says Ramsköld.

“We remain dedicated to improve the situation on the ground and will continue our discussions with the mining companies in order to identify and push the companies to continuously support the government in its reconciliation procedure and in brokering peace in Colombia. Further, Vattenfall will visit Colombia early next year to receive first-hand information by talking to local stakeholders,” Ramsköld says.

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