The Carajás railroad, regarded as the most efficient in Brazil, runs a loss-making passenger service for the benefit of the population. But this does little to make amends for its original sin: it was created to export minerals and crosses an area of chronic poverty.
The idea sounds like harebrained science-fiction, but the accelerated retreat of glaciers due to global warming and the effects of mining is leading scientists to seek to restore or recreate these valuable reservoirs of fresh water.
A hydroelectric project under construction near the Chilean capital poses a threat to the supply of drinking water to more than six million people living in the Santiago Metropolitan Region.
The Uruguayan government, which recently passed a law on large-scale mining, does not actually have a clear idea of the country’s mineral wealth and has only just now proposed a geological study to find out.
The Kumtor gold mine is Kyrgyzstan's lone economic gem. Yet, despite the mine’s vital importance to the Kyrgyz economy, officials appear to be mulling a doomsday option for the Canadian-run project.
Countries in Africa’s Great Lakes region are moving too slowly on an international plan to certify the sourcing of “conflict minerals”, researchers here are warning, a failure that could threaten the entire certification process.
Guyana is engaged in a balancing act to save its rainforest, regarded as a living treasure, from the destructive activities of miners digging their way to another kind of treasure buried beneath this fragile ecosystem.
Ranganai Zimbeva, from the rural village of Mutoko, which lies about 200 km northeast of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, plugs his ears with his fingers and shakes his head as he watches miners close to his village blast the hard rock to extract the black granite within.
Civil society groups from throughout Latin America are urging “home countries” to take greater responsibility for the actions of their companies abroad, particularly those in the extractives industry.
The mining industry in the north of Chile, the world’s leading producer of copper, is trying to partially satisfy its insatiable appetite for energy with a renewable, ever-available source: the sun.
Zeinab Mohamed is a 70-year-old squatter in Kwale County, in Kenya’s Coast Province. Like many other Coast Province residents, for decades, Mohamed has lived in what squatters call “floating houses”.
A bill that would regulate large-scale mining operations is making its way through Uruguay’s two houses of parliament, despite a lack of political consensus and vocal opposition from environmental organisations and other sectors of civil society.
Declining mineral content, the need to preserve the environment, and technological advances are causing big mining companies to turn back to underground mining in what is a rising trend in Chile and around the world, experts say.
Ochir Damchaa chuckles as he drives his second-hand Toyota sedan through the alleyways of Nalaikh, a ramshackle town 35 kilometres east of Ulaanbaatar: “There’re just two kinds of jobs here: drive a taxi, or dig coal.”
The arid climate in northern Chile has forced mining companies to seek out new sources of water. The main source is seawater from the Pacific Ocean, whose use is expected to increase significantly in the coming decade despite the high costs of extraction and transport.