Indigenous Groups Slam ICMM’s Draft Mining Position Statement
June 22, 2024

June 20, 2024– The Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy (AIPNEE) and the Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples (REP) are voicing strong objections to the draft of the Indigenous Peoples & Mining Position Statement released by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) earlier this month. The said Indigenous Peoples organizations claim that the ICMM’s draft falls short of protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and lacks meaningful consultation with those affected.

In a joint commentary submitted to the ICCM, AIPNEE and REP criticized the ICMM for not conducting sufficient consultations with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives worldwide. They argue that the ICMM has neglected repeated requests to: hold targeted consultations at regional, national, and local levels with necessary language interpretation; and implement a transparent, time-bound review process, detailing how Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders can participate at various stages.

The commentary further urged the ICMM to carry out a transparent review process that includes genuine consultations with Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders. The organizations called on the ICMM and its members to engage in direct dialogue with Indigenous representatives to address their concerns before the Position Statement is finalized.

AIPNEE and REP’s primary concern is that the draft fails to fully recognize the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), a fundamental principle ensuring Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination and land rights. The draft, particularly under Commitment 4, does not adhere to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Additionally, Commitment 5 allows for mining projects to proceed without FPIC if authorized by the State, which the groups say contradicts international human rights laws and standards set by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank. AIPNEE and REP recommend that the ICMM ensure that no project proceeds without obtaining FPIC from affected Indigenous Peoples and all concerns are fully addressed. Decision making with regards to the project should not be afforded to states where FPIC is not acquired. Further, ICMM should ensure that Indigenous women, youth, and persons with disabilities are involved in decision making processes and not just in the design and/or implementation of socio-economic development and social investment projects. 

Under Commitment 9, AIPNEE and REP urged ICMM members to set up grievance mechanisms that are accessible, culturally appropriate, and gender-sensitive, and aligned with Indigenous customary laws. They also called on the ICMM to identify no-go areas for mining particularly areas inhabited by Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation, burial grounds, sacred sites, key biodiversity areas, and conflict-affected regions.

Lastly, the group pointed out that the  draft avoids using established terms like FPIC and Human Rights Due Diligence, potentially leading to confusion and implementation issues. The organizations recommend that the ICMM use established terminologies to clearly commit to FPIC and human rights due diligence and ensure these commitments are explicitly stated in the Position Statement.

In the joint submitted commentary, AIPNEE and REP hope the ICMM will amend the draft Position Statement to align with international human rights laws and standards. They emphasized that the current draft is unacceptable unless commitments related to FPIC and other key issues are revised. They called on the  ICMM to strive to achieve the highest standards to respect human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples in this review process.

Click here to read the full commentary.

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