Environmental impacts in Mozambique
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGO Justi├ža Ambiental (JA), on behalf of a coalition of institutions, regarding the activities of a subsidiary of BHP Billiton PLC operating in Mozambique.
Theme(s)Disclosure, Environment, General policies
Date18 Oct 2010
Host country(ies)Mozambique
Industry sectorManufacturing

Read the initial assessment of the specific instance - 2 February 2011

Read the final statement issued by the UK NCP concluding the specific instance - 13 September 2012

In October 2010, the UK NCP received a request for review from Justiça Ambiental (JA), on behalf of a coalition of institutions, against that BHP Billiton PLC alleging that Mozal SARL, a joint venutre operating an aluminium smelter near Maputo, Mozambique, had breached the general policies, disclosure, and environment provisions of the Guidelines in Mozambique. BHPB owns a 47.1% stake in the joint venture. The concerns raised by JA related more specifically to the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate environmental system, disclosure of adequate and timely information, consultation with local communities and respect of human rights.

After issuing an initial assessment on 2 February 2011, until 28 November 2011, the UK NCP suspended the specific instance process in order to take into account the parties’ decision to undergo conciliation/mediation outside of the NCP process. On 28 November 2011 and after taking into account that the parties had not reached an agreement, the UK NCP offered conciliation/mediation to the parties. BHPB accepted the offer but JA declined it. Therefore, on 16 December 2011, the NCP informed the parties that it would undertake an examination of JA’s allegations and prepare a final statement.

The NCP examined the allegations and concluded that BHP Billiton PLC had not breached the Guidelines in respect of Mozal SARL’s operations in Mozambique. However, the UK NCP encouraged both BHP Billiton PLC and Mozal SARL to build upon their existing procedures for engagement with local communities and be forthcoming in disclosing to interested parties (particularly the affected communities and their representatives) information on projects that may have an impact on the environment and the health and safety of the communities.