Now reality needs to catch up

Report on the Glencore plc AGM held (appropriately) at the Casino Theatre, Zug, Switzerland, Wednesday 29 May 2024

Outside the Casino Theatre, a vibrant protest was held against Glencore’s multiple negative impacts, particularly that of its coal sales to Israel.

Inside this building dedicated to gambling and the performance of fiction, this year’s Glencore AGM differed from last year’s in the slickness of the company’s self-presentation. Answers given to shareholders’ questions were still brief, but more to the point than last year. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer had clearly done their homework and were only caught off balance once, when a question was asked about coal sales to Israel. But this is not to say that the answers reflected the reality experienced by workers and communities affected by its activities. The most generous thing that could be said for the company is that sharp differences of perception remain.

The company’s entire presentation lasted less than twenty minutes and the rest of the meeting – over an hour – was devoted to Questions and Answers. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi made a point of saying board directors had travelled to assets all over the world to see what was going on; this seemed a deliberate attempt to head off accusations that the board is isolated from operations. He said several times that the company is committed to running down coal responsibly, to a net zero world and to closing mines responsibly. He also made clear that the board oversees all aspects of operations, including stakeholder relations.

A video of the AGM is available at

There is Spanish-language reporting on the AGM on the Cooperaccion website together with a report on the protests in Lima.

Why are there protests?

1. The first question was from an ordinary shareholder who asked about the annual protests outside the AGM. Many people are complaining about Glencore, he said, and expressed shame at the regularity of the protests. What is the company going to do about this? He also asked in what parts of the world the company is recycling, and what percentage of its income comes from coal.

2. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi replied that protests are a feature of many company AGMs. Glencore supports the right to protest as long as the protests are peaceful. Many of the protesters outside the Glencore AGM were concerned about the Middle East, and the company extended its sympathy to all those suffering and hoped that peace would come quickly. Recycling, he said, is going on mostly in North America, but the hope is to start soon in Europe and Asia as well.

3. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gary Nagle added that energy coal is a declining part of Glencore’s business. Prices have increased but in a usual year steam coal represents less than 10% of the company’s turnover, and this will get smaller. [Note that the question was about coal in general; the answer concerned only thermal coal and did not mention metallurgical coal, used for smelting. Both forms of coal produce carbon dioxide when burned, and thus contribute to destructive climate change.]

Why increase coal expenditure?

4. Sarah Brewin of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) asked why the company had substantially increased its coal capital expenditure in Financial Year (FY) 2023 and in its FY2024-FY2026 guidance, and how these increases align with its commitment to phase down thermal coal production responsibly, in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

5. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi replied that Glencore has a clear statement in its Climate Action Transition Plan. There is currently no spending on greenfield coal projects. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2035, with an ambition of net zero by 2050.

Workers’ and communities’ grievances: an overview

6. Kemal Ozkan, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, spoke next. He said: “Mr. Chairman, once again we are here, representing workers and communities, and so it shall be that we will be a feature of your AGMs until you do the right thing and walk the talk according to your public commitments, so beautifully and eloquently laid out in your sustainability reports. We will keep coming here until you listen and respond positively to our collective demands, which are standard good governance practice, that call on Glencore to respect workers’ rights, human rights of indigenous communities and communities impacted by mining, and show respect for the environment and the right to a clean and healthy environment. IndustriALL Global Union and civil society organizations and NGOs are here once again, from far and wide across Europe, the Americas, and Sub Saharan Africa, to raise these concerns in the hope that you will listen.

7. “You will hear from them about their just transition anxieties and hopes, about the uncertainty of employment, about how they wish your ESG reporting was just not a tick box exercise, about your different treatment of workers at different assets according to very unclear criteria, both national and geographic context and assets/commodities, about the inhuman pain and suffering of a ghost town left by your uncaring exit of Prodeco with no social and labour plan in place.

8. “All that all of us are asking for is decent, respectful and transparent in-good-faith dialogue. Workers’ hopes were short-lived when dialogue with IndustriALL Global Union made it to your sustainability report and just disappeared subsequently. How is it possible that you can come up with an ambitious human rights impact assessment to address salient human rights issues at Cerrejon when trade unions, workers and communities, are not consulted? Workers and communities in affected regions in Colombia are coming up with their own impact assessments and proposed pathways to address human impact challenges on their own. Similarly, at Rouyn-Noranda in Canada, the company is not disclosing the investments it plans to make, and without this investment, the foundry will close – with 2,000 jobs on the line. This seems to be a trend across the company: in the DRC, for example, lack of information-sharing and consultation means workers are kept in the dark about plans for Mutanda mine and what their future will be.

9. “You might not be inclined to share publicly or comment publicly on the reason for some of your asset sale decisions but as workers and communities affected by these decisions, ought they not to know? The sale of Volcan in Peru is just one recent example. Failure to consult on such weighty decisions leads only to speculation, one being that Glencore’s decision has to with avoiding accountability in the face of the NCP [National Contact Point for the complaints process of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD] case brought against it for human rights violations of contract workers at Volcan. That would be my only direct question to you Chairman.”

10. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said he appreciated the fact that Kemal represented workers in various places. The company’s framework for labour issues, he said, is based on that of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The company offers meetings with unions. On Prodeco in Colombia, the company had invested over three billion dollars in the project and did not step away lightly. It is still funding social programmes and transition work in the area.

11. Gary Nagle said that consultations were going on at the Cerrejon mine. A question raised at last year’s AGM had led to the restoration of the former roster system because of worker dissatisfaction with the new one. This shows, he said, that the company does consult and listen.

The EVR takeover and the climate

12. Sarah Brewin of ACCR noted that Glencore does not plan to disclose the EVR climate-related information in its group reporting before the proposed demerger, meaning investors will not have full visibility of the integrated business. She asked how Glencore intended to ensure investors are adequately informed about the relative climate risks of the demerged business versus the combined business, when seeking approval for the spinoff.

13. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi stated that a Climate Action Transition Plan (CATP) for the EVR assets alone would be published post-acquisition and prior to the spinoff, and any new entity from a coal asset spinoff would commit to the same responsible wind-down of those coal assets as Glencore.

14. The CEO clarified that the process for seeking shareholder approval of the demerger is a two-stage one: first the company will consult with shareholders and if a majority want to go ahead with the spinoff, then they will put the proposal to a binding shareholder vote for the whole register.

Worker rights at the Prodeco coal mine in Colombia

15. Claudia Blanco, of Sintracarbon union at Prodeco, asked about the marketing and sale of coal, coal exports, worker rights and the closure of the mine. She noted that Prodeco had closed down without a social dialogue, and information had not been disclosed by the company during the process or afterwards. Prodeco continues to buy coal from other mines and transport it to the port. Both the mining company and the transportation company have staff that they dismissed and then rehired as contractors. This has led to conflict. There is no social dialogue, no dialogue between workers and employers, no dialogue with the union. Neither the courts nor anyone else has given the company approval to make workers redundant. The company should know what the impact of its actions on people and the environment is going to be. What measures are being taken to stop this kind of behaviour happening in future?

16. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi replied that the company supports any worker joining a union and that there are unions at all its operations.

17. Gary Nagle added that it was difficult to answer all questions in the AGM [which is, of course, semi-public, and the company can more easily be held to account for its answers than when they are given in private] but that he would try to answer some of them. On the others, he encouraged Claudia to engage in further dialogue. Regarding the consultation on mine closure, the company is doing a study and report on the human rights impacts of mine closure on communities and workers. When Prodeco was shut down, a voluntary retrenchment package was accepted by most workers. Any dismissals were done legally. Regarding the purchasing of material from other operators, Glencore has long bought third party material and will continue to do so while coal is in demand. Glencore has no control or influence over the mines from which this coal is bought.

Does Glencore really support the Paris climate agreement?

18. Sarah Brewin of ACCR also noted that Glencore’s head of Corporate Affairs in Australia said before a recent Australian Senate Committee Enquiry into Greenwashing: “We do not make any claim to be aligned with the Paris Agreement. We support the goals of the Paris Agreement.” She asked the chair to please expand on what it means to Glencore to support the goals of the Paris Agreement without having emissions reduction targets which are aligned to a 1.5 degree pathway.

19. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi noted that Glencore’s support for the ambition embodied in the Paris Climate Agreement did not require Glencore to commit to a particular pathway, and it has in fact defined its own emissions reduction targets for 2026, 2030 and 2050 and it considers these to be more concrete and tangible than committing to a Paris aligned pathway.

Why are workers treated differently at different mines in DRC?

20. Glen Mpufane of IndustriALL Global Union said, “I wish to raise a question on behalf of workers in the DRC on one of the points raised by Mr. Kemal, which is different treatment of workers at different assets according to very unclear criteria, at least according to them and this is the different treatment between MUMI and KCC. Only a few weeks ago workers we witnessed disturbing burning images of industrial action at MUMI where workers barricaded and blocked access to the mine. We are told by workers that the mine would not operate for three days and resumed production only after an agreement was reached with workers on their grievances.

21. “My question to you is this. Do workers have to resort to drastic disruptive actions to get your attention to listen to their grievances, particularly when there is a trade union presence which you ignore to consult with but only after the fact?”

22. Glen quoted a memo to workers at MUMI after the protests: “Following very positive discussions with union leaders today, during which we agreed to continue negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) from May 2, 2024, we would like to inform all employees that work will resume normally on site tomorrow, April 26. Please ensure you are punctual and work peacefully. Buses will follow their usual schedules and routes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding transportation and shifts, please contact your direct managers or HR representative. Sincerely, La direction.”

23. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi replied that MUMI and KCC were purchased at different times and Glencore is working to rationalise the differences over time. The company keeps the laws of DRC. When people move from MUMI to KCC, DRC law requires that the company engage with the union.

24. Gary Nagle added that, with regard to worker protests, Glencore seeks to engage and agree with the workforce. He understood that there had been a protest and had encouraged the human resources department to hear workers’ grievances and engage with the union. He encouraged the union to be willing to engage with the company.

Closure plan for the Cerrejon mine in Colombia

25. Jaime Lopez, General Secretary of Sintracarbon trade union in Colombia, asked about the Cerrejon mine. In the face of the closure of the Cerrejon mine in 2034 with the end of the mining contract between the Colombian State and Cerrejon, the union had the following questions:

1) Is the mine closure plan already developed?

2) If yes, how can workers access the plan, for their own knowledge?

3) What is the level of financial support for the plan, and does it take into account worker, community and environmental aspects?

If the plan is not available, why not? Time is short.

26. Regarding the work roster at Cerrejon, mentioned earlier by CEO Gary Nagle, Jaime noted that Cerrejon Coal had agreed one year and one month ago to restore the old work shift system, but only 30% of workers have been moved to this shift so far. The system needs to be introduced quickly for reasons of worker health and safety.

27. Gary Nagle replied that the Cerrejon licence to mine expires in 2034. The company has ten years left to develop a closure plan. Although the licence will expire, there will be billions of tonnes of coal left in the ground, but Glencore will hand the licence back to the government and not mine extra coal. In the next ten years the company must come up with a closure plan which will take into account the principles of Just Transition and community needs. It needs the support of the union and different levels of government in doing this. A full closure plan consultation will take place over the years and be in place by 2034. Regarding the work roster, Gary Nagle said he was surprised that only 30% of workers had moved back to the former roster system. The intention of the company is for full implementation of this system, and Gary Nagle said he would look into this matter.

Has the Horne Foundry in Quebec got a future?

28. Liz Umlas, of IndustriALL, asked a question on behalf of the Quebec industrial workers’ union. She said: “The situation at the Horne Foundry, in Rouyn-Noranda, is greatly worrying. Local leaders will not provide a clear answer about the investments that would allow operations to continue. Without these investments, the foundry faces the threat of closure, which would result in the loss of nearly 2,000 direct jobs in Quebec and several other indirect jobs. It would be catastrophic for the city of Rouyn-Noranda and the surrounding area, as the foundry is one of the city’s main employers.

29. “Here is our question to Glencore: Considering the strict Quebec standards for the emission of arsenic and other heavy metals; given the importance of the smelter for copper recovery, processing and production; the importance of the foundry for recycling technological waste and its role in the government’s ecological development plan and the just transition; and considering the importance of ensuring a healthy environment for the community and workers; we would like to know Glencore’s real intentions in continuing to modernize the facilities via the AERIS modernisation project at the Horne foundry and thus ensuring the sustainability of the foundry.”

30. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said that workers and management at the Foundry had reduced emissions by 70% and the company would look at continued improvements. The smelter has an important role in recycling. This is vital to the industry and the global community.

31. Gary Nagle said that the company shared the union’s concern. The company wants a future for the operation and to secure this responsibly. Glencore decided to move the AERIS project from the pre-feasibility to feasibility study stage. The aim is to get emissions down further. The company is working on this at present but cannot yet commit to anything. It will engage with communities, the workforce and local government over this.

Pollution in Espinar, Peru

32. Ana Reyes-Hurt, of UK-based Peru Support Group, spoke about the company’s Espinar operations. She said: “Glencore has several projects operating in Peru. Last year the Technical Scientific Subdirectorate of Peru’s Agency for Environmental Oversight (OEFA) issued detailed reports that proved the causal relationship between the Antapaccay copper mine activities operated by Glencore in the province of Espinar, southern Peru, and the contamination of water, soil, air and animals, which have found to contain heavy metals.

33. “A report by Oxfam and CooperAccion also showed that Glencore is seeking the expansion of the Coroccohuayco mining project, an extension of the Antapaccay mine, by purchasing land from indigenous communities without any definitive studies on the magnitude and impact of this project, and in this way concealing the fact that the Pacopata community would almost completely disappear under the expanded project.

34. “On the Antapaccay mine operations in Cusco, Peru: What measures is Glencore taking to stop the contamination of air, water, flora and fauna as determined by the reports of the environmental supervisory body? Has Glencore complied with the measures ordered by this body? What provisions have been put in place to provide compensation and redress to the people affected by the contamination?

35. “On the Coroccohuayco expansion in Cusco, Peru: When will Glencore present a study to the communities affected of the real environmental impacts of the expansion? Does Glencore intend to stop all land purchases and prior consultation activities until a valid environmental impact assessment has been presented? Does Glencore intend to respect IFC Standards No. 5 and 7 as promised in its policies?”

36. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said that the Antapaccay mine does not consume much water as it uses mostly recycled water and in the dry season, water from sumps. The nearby towns mostly use spring water. Air quality is constantly monitored and reported to the government. The Coroccohuayco project is at pre-feasibility stage and studies will determine whether it is worth proceeding with it, and there will then be community consultations.

37. Ana’s other questions (noted below) were not called.

Glencore’s plans for coal

38. Sebastian Rötters, of German organisation urgewald, spoke in German. He asked about coal. He said that Glencore had said it has ambitious climate goals in its action plan. When he looked at the numbers, with 2019 as a reference year, in 2020 everything goes down, probably related to COVID, and as of 2030 there is only a small modification. This is not very ambitious. If Glencore were to take climate ambition seriously there would be different goals. Net zero for 2050 is too far in the future. The company says it is responsible, but if it sells off its coal assets, how will it ensure that a potential buyer will not expand production? How does the company view responsible closure of those mines? There is nothing on the company’s website or in the Sustainability Report that indicates what kind of financial reserves the company has planned to make available for mine closure, which costs a lot. There is a risk that the company will try to evade this responsibility. Sebastian said he would like to see concrete facts and actual numbers showing what the company has set aside for this purpose.

39. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi replied that Glencore names the five mines that will be shut down. Five mines will be shut soon and by 2030 another seven mines. These are listed in the Climate Action Transition Plan. Between now and 2035 twelve operating mines will be shut down. This is where the reduction in coal production is coming from. With regard to the sale, this is the reason that Glencore has managed the decline itself rather than divesting coal assets as other companies have done. In 2019-2020 the company came up with the strategy of managed decline, which the Board thinks is the best approach. But the company has to listen to shareholders and will be engaging with them every year.

40. Gary Nagle added that Sebastian was right to say that net zero 2050 is a long way away. But that is the world’s goal and the world’s ambition, not just Glencore’s goal and Glencore’s ambition. One has to work towards that ambition. Glencore has been clear that its responsible run down of coal will be non-linear. It will not happen at the same pace all the time. But the company will have a trajectory in the right direction. That is why it came out with this commitment in 2019 to have a 15% reduction by 2026. A 25% reduction by 2030 has now been added, along with a 50% reduction by 2035 and a net zero ambition by 2050. On the way to the net zero goal are absolute commitments to reduce coal production. Reduction cannot be linear in a world that needs coal today but is in process of transitioning to a decarbonised future. Gary Nagle referred Sebastian to the Climate Action Transition Plan, which includes a slide showing the amount of coal that Glencore has taken out of the world over the last five years. Glencore produces a little over 1% of the world’s coal, he said, and in the last five years Glencore has taken out over 40 million tonnes of annual production, while the world has added nearly a billion tonnes. So as a just over 1% producer of the world’s coal Glencore is doing its share towards reducing fossil fuels in the world. Others, including China and India, are growing coal production. Gary Nagle said he wished everyone would follow Glencore’s 15%, 25%, 50% reduction plan, because if they did, it would be job done, and net zero 2050 would be pretty easy.

41. With respect to the spinout, he said, if it goes ahead – and this will be the shareholders’ decision – the intention of the company is for the new company to take on Glencore’s commitments to responsible rundown.

42. With regard to closure obligations, Gary Nagle recommended looking at videos and other information on the company’s website. Glencore does not mine, then close and rehabilitate. Rehabilitation of a mine is ongoing, particularly in open pit coal mining. As you mine, you rehabilitate behind you as you go. So by the time you get to the end of the mine, the rehabilitation funds needed are not those for the entire mine, as most of that money has been spent over the life of the mine. It is only the last portion that is needed, and for that Glencore has resources and funds available. He referred Sebastian to the company’s Chief Financial Officer for a conversation after the AGM [and therefore, of course, out of the public eye] about how provisions are shown in the company’s financial statements.

Coal sales to the Israeli State

43. A proxy-holder named Tania had two questions about Glencore’s trade relationship with the State of Israel. She said that according to data gathered by Kpler, Glencore supplied more than 1.5 million tonnes of coal to Israel in 2023. Before October, 2023 proved to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank being killed by Israeli forces and settlers. That was before the current escalation of violence against Palestinians by Israel. Currently the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank surpasses 500, and in the Gaza Strip 36,000, at least 15,000 of whom were children. In the past seven months, Israel has openly and continuously been violating international humanitarian law and moral norms, binding orders by the International Court of Justice and UN Security Council Resolutions. During that time, Glencore has apparently made more than US$50 million in revenue powering Israel’s electricity grids through its coal supply from the Cerrejon mine in Colombia while the Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness. The electrical power grids operated by Israel do not distinguish between military, industrial or commercial use. This means there is a high likelihood that the coal supplied by Glencore to Israel has been used to power the Israeli war machine as it ethnically cleanses Palestine or expands illegal settlements to annex Palestinian land. This is before October 2023 and since then.

44. Tania went on, “My first question is: we’ve heard of human rights (impact) assessments here, have you conducted some – not in regard to sourcing of this coal only – but also in regard to its use by the country that receives it, to ensure that your supply of coal to Israel does not contribute to its widespread practice of settling and annexing Palestinian land, displacing Palestinians, which is illegal under international law? My second question is: given the fact that the International Court of Justice has ruled in January of this year that there’s plausibility that Israel is committing genocide, which is one of the gravest crimes

under International Law, and the fact that the International Criminal Court is currently seeking arrest warrants against the Israeli leadership, what is Glencore doing to review its relationship with Israel and do you recognise that maintaining such a business relationship could lead to people thinking that Glencore is aiding and abetting a potential genocide and that this could lead to criminal liability? It’s really important –

45. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi cut in, thanking Tania for her question and expressing ‘great sympathy for the situation’ but went on, “What you’re saying has no merit at all.” He asked Gary Nagle if he wanted to comment. Gary Nagle replied, “No further comment.”

46. Tania said, “Can I just ask if you’re conducting if you’re conducting human rights assessments on the use of the coal you’re exporting to Israel to ensure that you’re not held liable…”

47. Chairman Madhavpeddi said, “The company supplies to many countries around the world and it’s almost impossible to tell you the answer to your question.”

“So you don’t check how the coal is being used?”

“Coal is used in power generation, that’s simple.”

“Sorry one last question, do you not do anything to ensure that this coal…”

“Can I move to the next question please…”

Clearly, the Chairman and CEO were rattled by Tania’s questions.


48. The next question concerned the Viterra transaction, which Gary Nagle said was awaiting regulatory approval in a number of jurisdictions.

Human rights impacts at Prodeco

49. Sebastian Rötters asked some follow up questions to his earlier intervention. He said that the company had talked of the responsible way it had closed the Prodeco mine and that it had been in touch with the communities affected. Sebastian’s experience over the previous fifteen years, including a number of visits to Colombia and dialogue with Mr McManus, who had left the company some years ago but had been the head of Prodeco in Colombia, had led him to a different view. Six years ago, he was told that a dialogue had been started between Glencore, or Prodeco, and the Asamblea Campesina group of victims of violence in the region about truth finding, how to think about remedy, how to address the situation on the ground. Six years have passed, the mines have been closed. How does the company want to bring these dialogues to a successful outcome? Will the people affected in the end get a result out of years and years of dialogue? The Human Rights Impact Assessment had been mentioned. A second assessment had been done and several of the people who were part of the dialogues were not invited when the company shared the results. What was the reason for that? If Prodeco leaves the region, what will happen to all these open topics?

50. He asked whether the Board was aware of the report in Intelligence Online from October 2023 which stated that Glencore or Prodeco spied on community leaders and representatives of the trade unions in the region. There were reports also about non-public meetings with the Dutch Ambassador which were then reported back. Prodeco offered jobs to very exposed community leaders to weaken the position of these communities. Is the Board aware of this report? Was there any internal investigation about this, and what were the consequences? Did the company take any measures on the ground?

51. Gary Nagle had said that the company had been buying coal from many mines in Colombia for many years. Sebastian had checked the Kppler data showing that coal had been exported from Puerto Nuevo to Guatemala, Brazil, even to Germany and the Netherlands and he would like to know where this coal is coming from, because the only explanation he had was that the company was buying it from mines in the interior of the country where we know that in many of them there are problems with child labour or, if it comes from Catatumbo in Norte de Santander, it comes from one of the most conflictive areas in the region where it is well known that armed groups profit from the money created by coal produced in the region. From which mines is Glencore buying coal to export via Puerto Nuevo, as this would be of interest to the buyers.

52. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said that, in response to the first question, everybody is being included in the consultation. Glencore is working with the Colombian government on how to work through this. Meanwhile, the company has set up social programmes that it is funding on a discretionary basis. With regard to the report on Intelligence Online, the Board is aware of it. A security person was fired in 2018 when the company figured out that he was doing that. That process was stopped at that time.

53. Gary Nagle also said that as soon as the company became aware of what was going on, it had stopped it. He was not aware of the details of the security company’s continuing activities, but would be happy to look into it and get back to Sebastian. He did not have the details of every contract that they had but can find out. It was certain that the company took immediate and decisive action once this was brought to its attention.

54. On coal exports, Gary Nagle said that Glencore’s contracts with coal suppliers are confidential so he could not give exact details. But he was able to say that the vast majority of the coal exported from Puerto Nuevo comes from mines in the Cesar region, not Norte de Santander. He was sure that Sebastian could work out what those mines were from his knowledge of Colombia, and offered to discuss the matter over coffee after the AGM. To the extent that the company buys material from other operations, it does do extensive supply chain due diligence because of exactly the risks that Sebastian had raised and because it shares the same concerns that Sebastian had. Glencore seeks to ensure that it does not trade in any materials that have any relation to child labour or any other breaches of human rights. This also could be discussed after the AGM.

Legal issues at the Mara Project in Argentina and Cerrejon Coal, Colombia

55. Richard Solly, from London Mining Network, asked about legal issues around the Mara Project in Argentina and Cerrejon Coal in Colombia.

56. “In Argentina, two technical bodies have recognised the existence of glaciers and periglacial environments in the Agua Rica deposit of the Mara project in Andalgala, in Catamarca. Why does Glencore want to carry out mining activites in Agua Rica, in an area where Argentinian law forbids it? This is the law for the protection of glaciers and periglacial environments. I understand also that human rights violations connected with mining in the area and the actions and omissions of the Argentinian State in connection with them, have been denounced before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which reflects on Glencore’s reputation.

57. “On Cerrejon, Glencore has made four claims with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes against the Colombian State. There is evidence that these mechanisms are used to intimidate governments and prevent them from making legal changes, or enforcing legal decisions, to protect the environment or human rights. Will Glencore withdraw these demands and respect Colombia’s autonomy? One case concerns ruling SU-698 of 2017 by the Colombian Constitutional Court, which ordered that the Arroyo Bruno be returned to its natural course to protect communities’ fundamental rights to water, life and food sovereignty. Is Glencore willing to withdraw its demand and return the stream to its natural course?”

58. Gary Nagle replied that as far as he was aware there are no glaciers anywhere being impacted by the Mara or Agua Rica project. If Richard had information showing that Agua Rica would interfere with a glacier, he would be very willing to receive that information and investigate it. Glencore will certainly comply with all laws of the country, he said. If the law of the country does not allow interference with a glacier, Glencore has no intention of mining in an area where the law prohibits it, whether it is a glacier or anything else. He asked Richard to send the information relating to glaciers around Mara or the Agua Rica project.

59. On the question of legal disputes, Gary Nagle said that Glencore’s preference is always to resolve disputes through dialogue with national governments. The company tries to do this constructively and has done so in many cases. Amicable solutions are not always possible in these cases and bilateral trade agreements exist for those possibilities where despite real dialogue, proper consultation and significant efforts to reach agreement, agreement is not reached. Bilateral trade agreements are there to protect investors. Mining is a long-term investment and these agreements exist to protect investments from potential changes. As a last resort, the company does on occasion have to turn to these arbitration procedures. Even with the existing cases in place, Glencore is always willing, ready and able to sit down with the Colombian government and try to resolve the disputes amicably and not have to finalise any of the existing arbitrations.

The end

60. Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi then drew the meeting to a close, saying that any other questions could be dealt with after the meeting, over lunch.

More on coal sales to Israel

61. Having been peremptorily cut off while speaking during the AGM, Tania approached Glencore’s CEO Gary Nagle after the meeting and asked him if the company does not assess the Human Rights impact of its partnerships and check how the energy it supplies is being used. He was hostile and dismissive and said “no comment”, but Tania politely insisted and then he referred her to Glencore’s Head of Sustainability, Anna Krutikov, who was in the room. Anna said that Glencore already has difficulty monitoring its supply chain and can only do so upstream, involving its suppliers, and not downstream. The company supplies the entire world and cannot follow what happens with all its sales. Tania asked if people in the company do not feel concerned about this specific partnership and supply, given the gravity of the current situation, and recommended they discuss it. The conversation ended politely but with no commitment on Glencore’s part to examine the matter.

More on Peru

62. Had Ana Reyes-Hurt’s other questions been called, she would have asked the following.

63. Glencore has announced that it has sold its stake in Volcan, Cerro de Pasco, Peru, to Transition Metal AG, a subsidiary of Integra Capital.

64. In 2016, studies identified that Compañía Minera Volcán was dumping, over Cerro de Pasco, water with lead levels 430 times over the legal limit, cadmium levels 6 times over the legal limit, and manganese levels 11 times over the maximum legal amount. Due to this contamination, the average concentration of aluminum in the blood of the local adult population is 5 times the limit established by the World Health Organization (WHO), while 97% of the population has blood chromium levels twice the maximum amount allowed by the WHO.