BHP MOZAL Smelter Back for OECD MNE Review
In late 2010, a coalition of NGOs had lodged complaints about BHP’s MOZAL aluminum smelter with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) SRI Index, the IFC’s Compliance/Advisory Ombudsman (CAO) and OECD National Focal Points in Australia and the UK. The case involved a planned bypass that would allow the MOZAL aluminum smelter to operate without exhaust treatment for a period of six months to allow for urgent repairs.
Around the same time last year, this case caught my attention and I posted a blog entitled NGOs Testing BHP Billiton and Investors’ Metal. Looking at public information available on
Earlier this months (November 2011), OECD Watch
Curious learn more about why IFC CAO’s mediation efforts were closed and the outcome of the UK NFC review of this case. I would have also loved to read anything about this topic in
How would you approach this topic in terms of sustainability reporting and have you seen better reporting and assurance examples? Please share your insights about this interesting case.
29 Dec 2011 Update: On December 19, 2011, the CAO posted an update. Indeed, an agreement between the parties regarding the Mozal complaint was not reached through a CAO dialogue process. The case has been transferred to CAO Compliance. A conclusion report documenting outcomes from the CAO’s dispute resolution process is available here:
12 April 2014 Update: IFC's CAO releases Audit and IFC's Response with regard to Mozal case. The audit report is available in English and Portuguese, with IFC's response, at this
"In a context where the [Fume Treatment Centers or FTCs] were known to be subject to corrosion and had previously been shut down for repairs on this basis, the audit finds shortcomings in the way in which IFC worked with its client to address the changing risk profile of the project. In particular CAO finds that it would have been reasonable for IFC, after it became aware of the earlier corrosion incident, to have requested that Mozal assess, monitor and report regularly on its approach to the management of risks associated with the possible future failure of the FTCs. Had this been done, CAO finds that appropriate advance consultation with affected communities could have been conducted.
While asserting that IFC staff took reasonable action timely action consistent with its policies and procedures, IFC acknowledges the importance of the issue raised by the audit; specifically the reporting of incidents relevant to a client's environmental and social performance (particularly in mature investments)."