Oxfam launches report on mining companies

Oxfam launches report on mining companies
Oxfarm report on mining

, a global organization dedicated to creating a sustainable, equitable, and just world, has unveiled a report titled “Recharging Community Consent: Mining Companies, Battery Minerals, and the Battle to Break from the Past”.

The global report sheds light on the consent-seeking practices of mining companies, especially those involved in battery mineral exploration and production.

According to the report, many companies in the battery mineral sector have public policies that do not fully align with international law requirements regarding community consent. The study emphasizes that the current policies in the battery mineral sector are insufficient to support a just energy transition.

Speaking at the launch in , Mr Mohammed-Anwar Sadat Adam, Acting Country Director of Oxfam in Ghana, highlighted the necessity of the study in the context of the ongoing climate crises and the imperative for a just transition.

He stressed the importance of addressing community rights in the discourse surrounding the energy transition.

Ms. Emily Greenspan, Associate Director at Oxfam America, presented the report's findings.

The study analyzed the publicly available policies of 43 companies globally engaged in the exploration and production of key minerals used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, including cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, and copper.

The research was grounded in the principle of Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC), a right under international law safeguarding the autonomy, resilience, and self-determination of indigenous peoples.

FPIC requires mining companies to engage with communities free from coercion, provide information throughout the project life cycle, and empower communities to give or withhold consent.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Some companies lack any policy commitment to FPIC or community engagement.
  • Only two companies have clear public commitments to FPIC.
  • Many companies do not disclose operational guidance, including implementation processes and evidence of agreements.
  • Companies are increasingly recognizing human rights due diligence but often overlook gendered impacts, human rights defenders' rights, and environmental concerns.

The report recommends structural reforms in the mining sector, empowering indigenous peoples to control mining on their lands.

It urges all companies to adopt strong FPIC policies meeting international human rights standards, committing not to proceed without community consent.

Companies should prioritize gender-responsive FPIC, human rights due diligence, and protection for defenders.

The report emphasizes the need for policy priorities to minimize the necessity for mining raw materials, promoting sustainable, just, equitable, and rights-respecting mining practices.

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