Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) regarding the activities of Oryx Natural Resources operating in the DRC.
Theme(s)General policies
Date1 Oct 2003
Host country(ies)Democratic Republic of the Congo
Industry sectorWholesale and retail trade

Read the final statement issued by the UK NCP - June 2005

In October 2003, a report was issued by the Second UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the DRC which included an annex listing companies who, in their view, had violated the Guidelines. This list included the UK-based company Oryx Natural Resources.

Due to ongoing libel action by Oryx against Independent Newspapers, the company was kept in "Category 3 – unresolved cases referred to the NCP for updating or investigation". The UN Expert Panel therefore referred Oryx to the NCP as it felt that additional evidence might come to light in the course of that case.

On 30 March 2005, the NGO Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) submitted a request for review under the Guidelines covering six areas where the company had allegedly breached the Guidelines. The NCP decided that it could provide assistance in two of the areas raised as the remaining four had been comprehensively addressed by the Un Expert Panel.

In an attempt to facilitate a dialogue, the NCP held a meeting between the parties. It became however clear at this meeting that the views of the parties were irreconcilable. The NCP was of the opinion that mediation would not assist the parties as there was no prospect of an agreed settlement. The NCP did not feel able to form a conclusion on the application of the Guidelines and the specific instance was therefore concluded.

Note: As the UN Expert Panel did not specify which provisions of the Guidelines were breached in this specific instance, it has been classified under "general policies".