Glencore and Cerro de Pasco Resources now negotiate without pressure – columns

The initiative to enforce extensive corporate liability for Swiss (raw material) companies operating abroad failed in a referendum on Sunday. The Swiss version of a supply chain law was up for vote. For non-Swiss, the result needs explanation: According to votes, the proponents of stricter liability of Swiss companies for human rights violations or environmental damage abroad gained the upper hand. 50.7 percent of the voters were in favor of the so-called corporate responsibility initiative.

Nevertheless, the weakened counter-proposal of the federal government is now being implemented because a majority of the cantons would have been won in a referendum in Switzerland. This majority of the so-called stands was missed. Above all, many West Swiss voted for the initiative, while French and Italian Switzerland largely voted against the initiative. Once again, the Röstigraben became visible during the vote, but also the gap between town and country.

But what is yesterday’s referendum on responsible supply chains with the Canadian junior mining company Cerro de Pasco (TSXV: CDRP; FRA: N8HP) to do? For several years, Cerro has endeavored to take over the project of the same name, “Cerro de Pasco” in Peru, which has become a negative symbol. Its main owner has been the Swiss Glencore Group based in Zug, which is often scolded by the group initiative.

One can assume that those responsible at Glencore are relieved about the outcome of the referendum. Now, without appearing to have just given in to public pressure, they can strike a face-saving “fair deal” with Cerro de Pasco. Perhaps it will even succeed this year. It would be a signal to the stakeholders in Peru, especially the people living in Cerro de Pasco, that Glencore is very much aware of its responsibility – and that there is no legal obligation to do so.

A good deal could be a real win-win-win situation for the environment, population and all companies involved. Cerro de Pasco is just waiting for the green light and could begin rehabilitation of the mine immediately. The corresponding financing of 60 million CAD would be available. Nothing stands in the way of a deal with Glencore.

We keep a close eye on further developments.

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