FRB / 21-001

Complainant: 21 complainants of five village communities

Date Filed: February 25, 2021

Last update: February 15, 2023

Case Status: Dispute Resolution


The complainants claim that FirstRand Bank, a commercial bank based in South Africa, has financed an open-pit mining company in the Republic of Liberia and that the mining corporation has caused harm to them. They fear that the expansion of the mining operation will cause additional harm.

The complainants allege that they have suffered substantial harm from resettlement from the area where the mine was established, from environmental impacts and impacts from river diversion. Allegedly serious harm was caused through the release of harmful chemicals between December 2015 and June 2016.

They further claim that, due to an expansion of the mine, their access to farmland has been restricted and that artisanal miners have been told to move or restrict operations without compensation. They are concerned about further harm as the mining company has started to prepare its expansion by construction of a road and of a camp facility without having consulted with the affected communities about potential environmental and social impacts. Complainants particularly fear resettlement and are concerned about the absence of any agreement on resettlement benefits.

The complainants have asked for strictly confidential treatment of their case, as they see themselves at risk of reprisals.

Action taken

The ICM has taken precautionary measures according to its Non-Retaliation Statement. On July 7th, 2021, the panel determined that the complaint was admissible under the criteria of the Independent Complaints Mechanism Policy (2017).


The Panel expects that the Dispute Resolution phase of this case should conclude by October 2023. If, by that time, the parties have not reached an agreement, the Panel will conduct a reassessment of the case to determine whether additional time is required in order to achieve a resolution.