Colombia: Mining

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential consequences for Colombian mining companies of non-compliance with the OECD due diligence guidance.

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish a report on the Government’s work to support responsible mining practices in Colombia.

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which private sector organisations the Government has been working with to encourage compliance with OECD due diligence guidance in Colombia.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (OECD DDG) sets out recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. While not legally binding, the recommendations reflect the common position and political commitments of OECD members and non-member adherents. Grievances against companies registered in OECD member and adherent non-member countries that have allegedly failed to meet the guidelines' standards can be taken to the OECD's National Contact Point in the relevant country. When the European Union Conflict Minerals Regulation comes into full force on 1 January 2021, the OECD Guidance will become mandatory for the largest importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) into the European Union.

The 2018 Annual Human Rights report included details of the Government's work to support responsible mining practices in Colombia. On 6 February 2018 the OECD published a report on due diligence in Colombia's gold supply chain. For Due Diligence to be effective it needs to be implemented across the supply chain. To achieve this it is essential to work with all actors in the supply chain including NGOs and the private sector. We do this through the OECD's multi-stakeholder group linked for their Implementation Programme for the DDG. In addition, the UK helped to found the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals, a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to increase the supply and demand of responsibly sourced minerals. You can find a current list of European Partnership for Responsible Minerals members at the following link: https://europeanpartnership-responsibleminerals.eu/member.

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