Guinean communities’ complaint against IFC-financed bauxite mine enters dispute resolution

3 October 2019

Thirteen Guinean communities have entered a dispute resolution process to try to agree settlement in relation to alleged land grabbing resulting from a bauxite mine supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm. The dispute resolution process will be convened by the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), its independent accountability mechanism.

In February, the communities filed a complaint with the CAO related to the mine run by Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), which, according to a March article by US-based civil society organisation Inclusive Development International (IDI), received a “$200 million loan to expand the venture’s mining operations” in 2016. CBG is a joint venture between the Guinean government, US aluminium corporation Alcoa, Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto and Guernsey-registered Dadco. Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, which is used to produce aluminium.

In its August assessment report, the CAO noted that complainants raised, “concerns about land grabbing, land rehabilitation and land return, along with issues regarding impacts on water and the environment that have had major consequences on the Complainants’ livelihoods.”

“The lands on which we and our ancestors have lived and farmed for centuries have been almost totally consumed by CBG,” said Mamadou Lamarana Bah, one of the complainants, in IDI’s aforementioned article. “With no more land, no more forests, no more water, how are we going to survive?”