Guinea: CBG-01/ Sangaredi
Local community members
Lack of compensation for impacts on land and livelihoods, resettlement concerns, pollution, lack of effective public consultation and grievance mechanism
IFC has an active project with Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) (“The Company”), to provide a senior debt facility of up to US$200 million to support the expansion of the Sangaredi bauxite mine, processing plant, and associated infrastructure. The Company is 49% owned by the Government of Guinea and 51% owned by Halco Mining Inc., which is in turn owned by a consortium of aluminium producers: Alcoa (45%), Rio Tinto (45%), and Dadco (10%).
In February 2019, local community members neighboring the expansion of the Sangaredi mine in Guinea (“the Complainants”) filed a complaint with the CAO supported by the Centre de Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE), Association pour le Développement Rural et l’Entraide Mutuelle de Guinée (ADREMGUI), and Inclusive Development International (IDI). The complaint raises concerns related to lack of compensation for loss of land and displacement, impacts on livelihoods, safety risks for the communities about the Company’s operations, and air and water pollution. The complaint further raises concerns about the lack of informed consultation, information disclosure, and the effectiveness of the Company’s grievance mechanism.
CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in March 2019 and conducted a field visit to Guinea to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties in April 2019.
During the assessment process, the complainants and the IFC client expressed their desire to meet to discuss the issues raised in the complaint and agreed to commence a dispute resolution process. The assessment report is available at the below links in both English and French, as well as IFC’s formal response.
Since August 2019, CAO has conducted various capacity-building workshops with the parties to prepare them for the dialogue process and start the discussion regarding the ground rules for the process. The CAO co-mediation team traveled to Guinea in February 2020 to continue conversations with the parties. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented CAO and the parties from holding the first in-person joint meeting that was scheduled for April 2020.
CAO continued to engage with the parties bilaterally, and eventually, the parties agreed on modalities to participate in online joint meetings.
Between August and November 2020, CAO facilitated five online joint meetings that allowed the parties to discuss and finalize their Ground Rules Agreement, finalized in December 2020. This agreement will guide their engagements and discussions to address the substantive social and environmental issues raised in the complaint. The text of the Ground Rules Agreement the parties signed is available in the “Case Documents” section below.
Between December 2020 and October 2021, CAO facilitated six joint sessions to discuss and address the first substantive issue of the complaint—related to CBG’s dynamite blasting activities and their impacts. The parties reached an agreement on the issue on October 28, 2021, and finalized a joint statement for the general public. Both the agreement and the joint statement are available in the “Case Documents” section below this page.
In October 2021, the parties moved on to discuss the second substantive issue concerning access and quality of water.
The parties have agreed to hire an independent expert to monitor the impacts of blasting activities by CBG and present recommendations on remedial measures. The selected expert is conducting research within the scope of his appointment (ToR available via the “Case Documents” section below).
A dispute resolution process is ongoing, involving regular CAO missions on the ground.
Status as of May 2, 2023.