* Court rejects efforts to block case vs miner
* Anvil accused of involvement in Congo killing in 2004
KINSHASA, April 28 A Canadian court rejected on
Thursday an attempt to block a case against Toronto-listed
Anvil Mining AVM.AX AVM.TO over its alleged involvement in
a massacre in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2004.
Congo-focused Anvil, which has been producing copper in the
southern Congolese province of Katanga since 2002, is accused
of providing logistical support to the Congolese army during a
massacre in which 70 people were killed.
The miner, with offices in both Australia and Quebec, has
denied the charge.
Last year, a civil class action was filed on behalf of the
victims by the Canadian Association Against Impunity.
The Superior Court of Quebec rejected Anvil's request that
the case be heard either in Australia or Congo, and allowed
proceedings to move to the next stage, court documents seen by
"Everything indicates that if the court were to refuse to
accept the application [for a class action] there would be no
other possibility for the victims' civil claim to be heard,"
Judge Benoit Emery said in the court documents.
The company, which is due to begin production at its newest
copper mine in Katanga later this year, argued that the court
did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
A spokesman for Anvil was not immediately available for
comment on the court's decision.
Rights groups welcomed the decision, although Andie Lamb of
Global Witness said it was still possible that the class action
would not reach court.
"This is the first hurdle we've got over, we're very
excited about it, but the court must still decide if there are
grounds for a class action," she said, adding that a decision
is likely in June.
Anvil Mining had already been found not guilty in 2007 by a
Congolese military court over its role in the killings, which
took place in the village of Kilwa, as Congolese armed forces
attempted to put down a rebellion.
Congo is one of the most resource rich countries in the
world but remains unstable after years of conflict. Its armed
forces are notoriously ill disciplined and have frequently been
implicated in human rights abuses.
(Reporting by Jonny Hogg; Editing by Bate Felix)