UK - A new campaign has been launched by charities FairPensions and Cafod to warn pension funds and fund managers there are gaps between the environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and their implementation of mining companies operating in developing countries.

According to the two charities, most pension funds have sizeable investments in mining companies, but do not realise the risks involved.

Duncan Exley, director of campaigns at FairPensions, told IPE today: "We estimate that the seven mining companies in the FTSE 100 make up approximately 12% of the 100's market capitalisation." As UK pension fund portfolios tend to reflect the FTSE, this is very significant," according to Exley.

Cafod, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, says it has found cases of mining projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America that have created conflicts between rival militias, and are generating dangerous levels of arsenic and cyanide in drinking water, as well as forcing families from their homes without warning, to make way for mines.

According to the campaigners, it is often the case that mining companies set up certain ESG to prevent such things from happening, but do not actaully implement them on the ground.

Accroding to Exley, one of the reasons is people on the ground or subcontractors are not implementing planned strategies.

Rashmi Mistry, head of campaigns at Cafod, said: "Mining is a growing industry in developing countries but we believe that it should not endanger the lives and environments of people who are already impoverished."

Mistry added since the vast majority of pension funds have investments in mining companies, the organisation is encouraging its supporters to exercise their right to raise concerns over the practices of mining companies.

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