Central Mountain Management Committee, Korea Forest Service, Ministry of Trade and Industry
•Background: Company A is one of the major foreign-invested companies in Korea and is the fourth largest cement maker in the country. Company A was planning to report on the renewal of permission for the temporary use of mountainous districts, but the competent ministry postponed approval on the renewal citing the landslide on Aug 23, 2012 when the company employees were buried.
•Major issues: According to the government’s survey, the accident was caused by multiple factors concerning geological structure and was concluded as a natural disaster, so Company A was not liable for violation of related laws. However, in May 2013, the deliberative body postponed its decision due to the accident. The region in question for the renewal of approval is the key mining region for Company A, so the delay in the renewal of approval is causing difficulties for Company A’s factory operation.
Resoultion and Results
‣(Jun 26, 2013) Ombudsman’s meeting with the competent ministry
※ Explanation on the Company A’s situation: The region in question is the key mining region for Company A. If the renewal of approval is rejected, Company A’s business operation will be at risk. This will negatively influence 5,000 employees of Company A as well as the local economy in general.
※ Opinion of the competent authority: At the time when the renewal was reviewed, Company A was requested to submit long-term restoration plan and analysis report on the collapse along with other corrective measures. If the requests are fully implemented, the renewal will be granted. If so, the renewal period is expected to be effective for 3 years considering the precedents.
•Result: (Jun 28, 2013) Renewal of approval for the temporary use of mountainous districts was granted and is effective for 3 years.