Mining in Liberia
Lead NCPLuxembourg
Supporting NCP(s)Netherlands
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGOs Friends of the Earth (FoE) Europe and Liberia-based Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)/FoE Liberia regarding the activities of ArcelorMittal operating in Liberia.
Theme(s)Combating bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion, General policies
Date3 Jan 2011
Host country(ies)Liberia
Industry sectorMining and quarrying

Read the initial assessment issued by the Luxembourg NCP - October 2011

Read the final statement issued by the Luxembourg NCP concluding the specific instance - September 2013

In January 2011 the Netherlands NCP received a request for review from the NGOs Friends of the Earth (FoE) Europe and Liberia-based Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)/FoE Liberia alleging that ArcelorMittal had breached the combatting bribery, and general policies provisions of the Guidelines in Liberia. As ArcelorMittal is based in Luxembourg, the specific instance was transferred to the Luxembourg NCP, while the Netherlands NCP plays a supporting role.

Among numerous allegations, FoE and SDI’s concerns included:

  • Arcelor Mittal’s donation of 100 pick-up trucks to the Government of Liberia (GoL) in August 2008;
  • misappropriation and misuse of the County Social Development Fund (CSDF), managed by both ArcelorMittal and the GoL;
  • lack of communication with local communities about the impact of ArcelorMittal’s operations; and
  • potential mining or exploration in the East Nimba Nature Reserve.

ArcelorMittal rejected the allegations made against it.

The Luxembourg NCP determined that it was outside the mandate of the NCP to judge whether ArcelorMittal had acted in compliance with domestic or international law and thus excluded the first allegation regarding the pick-up trucks from the complaints procedure. The NCP believed FoE provided sufficient information on the remaining allegations and, after completing the initial assessment, it offered to provide mediation assistance to both parties. The parties agreed to mediation by an expert mediator, Dr. Maartje can Putten, with the aim to draft a proposal for improving management of the CSDF.

Two fact-finding missions took place and the parties met multiple times in 2012 and 2013. The end result was a mutually-agreed upon document recommending that the CSDF be transformed into a Trust or Foundation as an independent body composed of representatives from the government, civil society organizations, and ArcelorMittal. In addition, a ‘board for grievances’ would be available to hear appeals concerning funded projects. The Luxembourg NCP concluded the specific instance on 13 September 2013 upon release of the final statement.