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Questions à Glencore suite à la procédure de plainte décevante

En avril 2011, la Déclaration de Berne (DB) et des organisations partenaires au Canada, en France et en Zambie ont déposé une plainte contre Glencore auprès du « point de contact national » pour les lignes directrices de l’OCDE à l’égard des entreprises multinationales (PCN), qui, en Suisse, est rattaché au Secrétariat d’état à l’économie (SECO). Cette plainte reprochait au géant zougois des matières premières de manipuler sa comptabilité en Zambie, de façon à échapper à l’impôt.

Au cours de la procédure, les représentants des ONG ont obtenu l’assurance que Glencore fournirait des réponses à un certain nombre de questions découlant de la procédure ouverte devant le PCN. A l’été 2012, à l’issue d’un échange de courriels, Glencore a mis à disposition de la Déclaration de Berne les rapports financiers non publiés de Mopani pour les années 2006 à 2010. Les chiffres pour 2011, promis par le géant zougois, n’ont jamais suivi. Sur la base des documents fournis, la DB a préparé un catalogue de questions précises, envoyé à Glencore le 3 décembre 2012. Glencore n’a jamais donné la moindre réponse à ces questions ou à ce message, en dépit des rappels envoyés en janvier et en août 2013.


Questions related to Glencore’s answer to some of the issues raised by the pilot-audit that remain unanswered, sent to Glencore on the 3rd of december 2012.

1) On cooperation. The letter/document signed by the Commissionner of tax that has been briefly and partly showed us during the NCP-Session (or any other document related to the process between the ZRA and MCM) would help to dismiss doubts about Glencore’s/MCM’s cooperation with the ZRA regarding the OECD-Guidelines («Entreprises are encouraged to co-operate with governments in the development and implementation of policies and laws», OECD Guidelines, 2011, p.19). Would you provide us such a document?

2) On hedging. A crucial question raised in the pilot-audit is the hedging. Are you willing to provide us the audit Deloitte apparently made on that specific issue to dismiss doubts raised by the auditors, for whom «The hedging pattern of Mopani is more equal to moving taxable revenue out of the country than true hedging»?

3) On tolling and purchases. According the Golder Associates Report (Table p. 10), MCM’s copper production from own sources in 2008 was 110’261 tonnes, while purchases reached 8’952 tonnes and tolling 46’205 tonnes. How does this relate with your statement both in the NCP-meeting and in your written response «almost half of Mopani’s copper output is third party ore processed in return for a small tolling fee» (Statement from Glencore, 2nd June 2011). Can you provide us with figures showing that in 2005-2007 “almost half” and not 28% as in 2008 (according to the Golder report) came from third party tolling? And why does Mopani provide such a service if it only brings in a „small tolling fee“?

4) During the meeting, Mr. Mistakidis and Mr. Erasmus mentioned that supply from Mutanda to MCM is reported as third party source. But it remains unclear whether that means purchasing or tolling. Was there or is there any tolling of material extracted by other Glencore-controlled companies besides Mopani?

5) On freight. During the NCP-Session, Martin Saluveer said Glencore picks up the copper at the mine gate. He also said the auditors assume that MCM pays the freight. But it remains unclear whether MCM pays all the freight costs or part of it or none of it. So who between MCM and Glencore pays the freight? If these costs are shared, in what proportion are they paid by MCM?

6) On sales. The auditors found the sale revenue «consistently lower than for the companies compared with ». Can you explain the reason of these discrepencies?

7) On costs. To explain the significant cost increase observed by the pilot-audit, you mentioned inflation (no numbers), trade unions compelling you to raise wages by 25% in 2005 and 29% in 2006 and the appreciation of the kwacha towards the dollar (from 5000 to 3200). Do you confirm these numbers? If so, why didn’t MCM mention such increases in it’s 2006 financial statement?

8) Could you also explain why «Residual costs» increased from 4,49 millions US$ in 2005 to 210,27 in 2007 and what exactly falls under this category (pilot-audit, page 10)? Are these «residual costs» related to what your 2006 financial statement calls «Other» costs (page 9)? Do you deny the assumption of the auditors who state that «a significant portion of the copper scrap should have been capitalized as prepaid but has been taken to the expenses»?

9) Regarding the impact of currency rates on costs, Mr. Mistakidis said the kwacha appreciated against the dollar from 5000 to 3200 during the period under review. That is not quite correct. In 2005, the kwacha did indeed appreciate more or less from 4500 to 3200. But between 2006 and 2008, the rate gravitates around 4400 and 3800. That means he exagerated the appreciation of the kwacha. Could you provide more details on the impact of currency on your costs structure?

10) Regarding labor costs, Mr. Erasmus said the trade unions obliged them to increase wages in kwacha by +25% in 2005 and by 29% in 2006. The president of the trade union of the mining industry in Zambia who told us by phone that the increase in the country was 10% in 2005 and 15% in 2006. However, the numbers provided by Mr. Erasmus could fit with the June 2nd 2011 statement from Glencore („At Mopani specifically, unions have successfully negotiated significant pay rises for workers, whose numbers have increased by 50% since privatization“). Can you prove us that the pay increases at Mopani where much bigger than at other Zambian mining companies?

11) Again on labor costs, the total remuneration paid in respect of the employees in 2008 increased to 209,6 millions US$ against 135,6 millions US$ in 2007 while the number of employees only increased a little. At the same time, this cost reaches 155,3 millions US$ in 2009 while the number of employees is far below it’s 2007 level. Can you explain why?

12) In the 2008 annual report, a 124,934 millions US$ loan from Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Limited to Mopani is mentioned. Could you explain what was the purpose of this loan and which interest rate is paid to Glencore Finance?

13) In the 2010 annual report, contingent liabilities are raised from 0.8 million US$ (2009) to 5.8 millions US$. Can you explain to what pending litigation(s) that amount referes to?

14) A Glencore representative testified at the International Development Committee of the UK House of Commons that Glencore does not oppose Country-by-Country reporting. Would you be willing to voluntarily report on a country by country basis, as Rio Tinto is doing for their tax payments?