Latin America & the Caribbean
Colombia / Eco Oro-01/Bucaramanga
Eco Oro Minerals Corp (formerly Greystar Resources Ltd) is a publically listed junior mining company headquartered in Canada. Eco Oro owns 100% of the Angostura gold and silver exploration project near Bucaramanga, in the Santander region of Colombia. IFC is supporting the feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and other needed ground works to prepare for the project development stage.
In June 2012, CAO received a complaint from local civil society committees in Bucaramanga, with the support of several international NGOs. The complainants raise concerns about the development of the gold mine in the Santurban Paramo. They contend that the mine development would have adverse impact on the quality and quantity of drinking water downstream and around the Paramo, which is the major source of water for the Bucaramanga region. The complainants are also concerned about what they see as irreparable environmental damage to the unique ecology of the Paramo. Furthermore, the complainants are of the opinion that the project is in violation of IFC’s social and environmental policies, and should not have received project approval.
The complainants originally requested that CAO keep their identities confidential. Subsequently, the complainants decided to publicly release the complaint and their identities.
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in July 2012. A CAO team conducted a field trip in October 2012 to meet with the relevant stakeholders and discuss options for addressing the issues in the complaint.
During the assessment process, CAO understood from the complainants that pursuing a dispute resolution process was not an option at this point in time. CAO released its Assessment Report, which is available at the below links in English and Spanish, along with IFC's response, and the case was transferred to CAO’s compliance function for appraisal of IFC in November 2012. CAO's Operational Guidelines provide for a compliance appraisal in order to decide whether an investigation of IFC's role in the project is warranted.
On the basis of the Compliance Appraisal, which was completed in June 2013, CAO will conduct a Compliance Investigation into IFC’s investment in Eco Oro. As the possibility for a discussion of outcomes is limited by the current stage of development of the Project, the CAO compliance process will necessarily focus on IFC’s approach to E&S review and supervision. Questions which arise in this context include whether IFC’s approach to the definition of the Project and the assessment of its E&S risks and impacts was adequate. This is a central question as the assessment of risk and impact at project appraisal guides IFC’s approach to E&S categorization, the level of E&S review required, as well as the extent of community consultation which the client must undertake.
CAO will also investigate whether the structure of this investment and the approach taken to its supervision paid sufficient regard to the potential long-term E&S impacts of the investment, and the way in which its risk profile was likely to change over time. The objectives and scope of the investigation will be defined in a Terms of Reference, which will be disclosed on this page in due course.
CAO's appraisal report is available under "View Documents" below. CAO has issued Terms of Reference for a Compliance Investigation of IFC’s investment in Eco Oro Minerals Corp covering the above issues. The Compliance Investigation report will be posted on this website when complete.
Updated: August 15, 2013
- Project Name & Number
- Eco Oro 27961
- Extractive Industries
- Eco Oro Minerals Corp
- Latin America & the Caribbean
- Environmental Category
- US$9.6 million
- Eligible: Completed
- Assessment Period: Transferred
- Under Appraisal: Completed
- Under Audit: In Process