Recently I’ve been researching a lot about mining comapnies, especially Canadian mining companies, and their work abroad.
Through school I’ve come across a document titled “Preventing Conflict in Exploration: A Toolkit for Explorers and Developers”, a joint collaboration of the International Network for Economics and Conflict, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), World Vision Canada, and The Corporate Engagement Program – CDA Collaborative Learning Projects.
The document is a tool kit that uses Popular Education models and methods to reduce conflict when multinational mining companies approach a community who is resisting a project.
The opening paragraph states:
“Many multi-national mining exploration and development companies operate in areas suffering from violent conflict and chronic instability. Control and access to the resources that they seek to extract are often key drivers of conflict and instability. Not surprisingly then, tensions sometimes escalate when extractive operations commence. However, this is not inevitable, and companies themselves can do much to mitigate the emergence of these tensions, even during the early exploration phases.”
They are basically saying that they are aware that their projects produce conflict, but they are going to go ahead with their plans, with the goal of soothing the community through the conflict the company will cause.
It is incredibly cynical and manipulative.
For some facts on the nature of these mining conflicts and the sad reality that communities most often do not benefit from the arrangements, please refer to Rights Action and their well-documented accounts on these conflicts throughout Central America. Here is a pdf document with many case studies that reflect the deceptive nature of the undertakings of mining companies and prospectors.