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German State Bank Finances Copper Mines

In its business report for 2001/2002, Norddeutsche Affinerie (Affi) proudly declared, thanks to lobbying the German state government, a new mine "Antamina" in Peru was partly financed by the German state bank "Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau" (KfW), which allowed the mine to become operative, and provide ore concentrate to Affi.

"Save the Elbe" tried to investigate the role of German state agencies in more depth, so by July 2002 we wrote letters to the Bundesminister für Umwelt (Federal Minister of Environment), and to the Bundesminister für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit (Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation) to ask (full text in German),

  • which copper mines receive(d) German state support?
  • what influence did Affi exercise on these cases?
  • was support linked to social and ecological requirements?
  • were the activities of the mines checked and reported?
The ministries answered in November 2002 (full text in German), that
  • Antamina (Peru) and Batu Hijau (Indonesia) received credit under commercial conditions from KfW
  • Affi did not influence the decision
  • economical and ecological guidelines of KfW, World Bank, and other investor states rules were applied before credits were granted
  • an environmental management plan for Antamina, and environmental and social plans for Batu Hijau, based on World Bank and US Eximbank standards, are supervised by consultants. In the case of Batu Hijau, damage of coral reefs by deep sea tailings disposal was neither expected nor observed.
In its journal "Chancen" 3/2000, KfW reports about Collahuasi mine, Chile, which received a substantial credit from KfW, not forgetting to point out its role as a supplier of Affi. Looking back at the role German state agencies played at Ok Tedi, one may well conclude, that KfW was involved in any mining enterprise, if it was in favour of Affi. Federal government is hiding behind World Bank standards, though they should know very well, that Batu Hijau nether would get a permit in Europe, because it would violate the Oslo and Paris Convention against pollution of the sea.

created July 2003

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