Minerals series: Wrapping up

4 November 2013 | ResolutionPossible

Our Minerals series complements our website ‘In Focus’ pages. While the pages focus on facts and information, our blogs intend to raise questions, inspire debate and challenge our existing perceptions of issues that directly affect us. Throughout the series we have explored questions of responsibility, corporate ethics in theory and in practice, sustainability and alternative solutions, and (inter)national regulations. This final blog offers a summary of the key points.

1.  The series began with a recognition of the ongoing disparity between operating practices in the West compared to those in central Africa, highlighting the various players in the industry and across the supply chain who share the responsibility of cleaning up the mining industry.

2. We focused on the mining companies themselves, discussing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as an increasingly adopted approach alleviating the negative impacts of mining operations. Through three instalments, we highlighted what motivates companies to adapt their behaviour to become ethically conscious, how CSR works in practice, and the small-scale mines that remain under the radar of such policies.

3. Looking to the future, we explored whether it makes sense to pursue the popular idea of mining sustainability in an industry that depends on finite sources, and extended a challenge to consider alternative methods of meeting consumer demands.

4. Finally, we dug deeper to look at the steps taken by official bodies such as the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, which encouraged accountability and transparency (with limited scope) but has had unintended consequences on employment and security in the regions it aimed to help.

Miner, DRC | Photo: Reuters

Miner, DRC | Photo: Reuters

There are no easy answers to addressing the challenges facing the mining industry, the lucky ones who benefit from it and the unlucky who bear the brunt of its often devastating consequences. We are not here to provide answers. We are here to explore and share information in hopes of gaining a better understanding of these challenges. We raise questions in as fair and open a manner as possible in hopes that they spark constructive conversations, which in turn could lead to ideas with the potential to change things for the better.


What have we missed? Do you have a perspective to share, questions to add, or ideas to put on the table?

Join the conversation.

Better understanding: better world.

Contributing writers/research for this series: Alex Maxwell, Megan Setchell and Harriet Doughty


DRC mine | Source: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

DRC mine | Source: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism


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