Glencore denies employing child-labor in Congo

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:27am EDT
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By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) - Commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote) has denied it employs under-18s working at a copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying any mining at the mothballed site is without its authority.

The BBC's BBC.UL Panorama current affairs show, due to be broadcast on Monday, said it had footage of youngsters under the age of 18 working at a mine where Glencore owns a license to operate.

The company, which floated last year after four decades of closely guarded privacy, said it stopped work at the mine in 2008.

Glencore's chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said in comments released by the BBC and due to be screened on the program that the child miners were working "against all of our authorization.".

Miners filmed by the BBC at the Tilwezembe mine were part of a group of artisanal miners who took over the area in 2010, Glasenberg said.

The company says it plans to resume mining at the site at some point in the future and that in the meantime it is in talks with the government on how best to handle what it has called an invasion by artisanal miners.

"We definitely do not profit from child labor in any part of the world. This is adhered to strictly," Glasenberg told the program.

Liberum analyst Dominic O'Kane said all mining companies faced break-ins by unemployed local people, trying to mine high-grade ore on their license areas.   Continued...

Swiss commodities trader Glencore's logo is seen in front of its headquarters in Baar, near Zurich, February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Romina Amato