“Drawing again the curtain on the businesses and other people concerned on this new, probably globally important lithium business, the investigation discovered concessions on and round DRC’s lithium deposits are or have been held by or concerned a small variety of individuals with shut enterprise relationships – together with a now-serving authorities official – with former President Kabila,” the file reads.
Based on the group, Cong Mao Huai, reported to be an adviser to former DRC president Joseph Kabila, is or was related to firms with possession hyperlinks to 6 concessions investigated by International Witness.
The NGO claims to have seen paperwork that seem to point out there have been long-standing enterprise hyperlinks between Cong and now-serving Minister Man Loando Mboyo. The report additionally cites information from Congo Hold Up – the most important leak of monetary data from Africa thus far -, which helps the allegations of the enterprise hyperlinks between the 2.
“Our investigation reveals that traders need to think critically earlier than endorsing DRC’s lithium sector,” Paul Donowitz, head of pure useful resource governance campaigns at International Witness, stated in a media assertion. “Firm contracts, funds and useful possession in key offers usually are not being absolutely disclosed, regardless of this being required by Congolese legislation. Corporations should additionally guarantee they absolutely respect the setting and communities within the mining areas.”
In Donowitz’s view, there’s a small window of alternative to deal with the potential provide chain dangers in DRC’s lithium sector, earlier than manufacturing begins.
“Corporations, traders and governments – each of the DRC and corporations’ residence states – should act now or the entire business dangers being severely undermined by governance dangers and harms to individuals and the planet,” the campaigner stated.
The report closes with a variety of suggestions, asking firms financing, producing, utilizing or buying and selling DRC’s lithium to make sure that their investments and operations, in addition to these of their subsidiaries and suppliers, adhere to worldwide governance, environmental and human rights requirements, and all current Congolese legal guidelines, whichever are stronger.
It additionally asks these corporations to take duty to conduct, disclose and implement sturdy due diligence insurance policies and procedures to forestall, determine, mitigate and account for human rights, environmental and governance dangers of their operations, together with provide chains and enterprise relationships.
Lastly, it asks the Congolese authorities to make sure disclosure of all useful house owners of mining firms, mining contracts and public, project-level cost reporting for all of Congo’s mining contracts, in step with Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reporting requirements and finest observe.