Conflicts with local communities over mining, oil and gas development are costing companies billions of dollars a year. One corporation alone reported a six billion dollar cost over a two-year period according to the first-ever peer-reviewed study on the cost of conflicts in the extractive sector.
China’s massive urbanisation has been built, literally, by metal, supplied mostly by Latin American countries (LAC). Yet now China’s slowing economic growth and falling commodity prices threaten Latin American commodity booms.
Three private sector initiatives are aimed at carrying water from the rivers in southern Chile to the arid north of the country by ship or through underwater or underground pipelines. The objective is to slake the thirst of the mining industry of this country, the world’s largest producer of copper.
Latin America is not taking the new global agreement to limit mercury emissions seriously: the hazardous metal is still widely used and smuggled in artisanal gold mining and is released by the fossil fuel industry.
An unusual combination of industry, government, investors and civil society here is celebrating the United States’ initial acceptance into a prominent global initiative aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability in the extractives industry.
It turns out the choice between gold and historical preservation is an easy one to make for officials in Georgia: the government is going for gold.
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.