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Multi-Layered Reflexivity in Participative Research on Mining in Indonesia

Positionality, Preconceptions and Roles

Kristina Großmann

I was sitting with a group of villagers in front of the house of the village head, Pak 1 Winto, and discussing a conflict that had arisen over mining on customary adat 2 land. The village, Tumbang Batubara, 3 located in the north of Central

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Reclaiming the lake

Citizenship and environment-as-common-property in highland Peru

Mattias Borg Rasmussen

conversation. “Enough is enough!” The protests of the highland region Ancash that culminated in eight days of paro , or blockade, in December 2010 were directed against a proposed mining exploration in the headwaters of the Santa River, near the shores of a

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Protecting Indigenous Rights from Mining Companies

The Case of Ethnological Expertise in Yakutia

Violetta Gassiy

diamond pipes by open method on the Verkhne-Munskoe field Olenek Evenk National Region Russian partially state-owned diamond mining company Alrosa Institute of Humanitarian Studies and Problems of Small Peoples of the North SB RAS 2016 22.341 for

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The Responsibility to Prevent Future Harm

Anti-Mining Struggles, the State, and Constitutional Lawsuits in Ecuador

Laura Affolter

Special Issue show that this shift certainly occurs. But so does its reverse, as ongoing legal struggles against industrial mining in Ecuador indicate. There, ‘anti-mining activists’ – a term I discuss in more detail below – have started to increasingly

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Trust as affective infrastructure

Constructing the firm/community boundary in resource extraction

Adela Zhang

working at great heights, in thin air and extreme temperatures…[and] appreciate the human effort and technology involved in such endeavours.’ The mining company's former vice president of operations explains, ‘“To operate [this mine] requires large

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Types of resistance and collective forced negotiation in mining

Aleida Azamar Alonso

The mining industry is key to modern economic and productive systems. Most of the products and goods currently used by humans possess at least one component derived from this extractive industry. However, the processes whereby this activity is

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Soft skills, hard rocks

Making diamonds ethical in Canada’s Northwest Territories

Lindsay A. Bell

, both the museum and the mining corporation (Rio Tinto) stress that the Foxfire diamond should be admired for its “fascinating provenance and ethical pedigree” ( Amadena Investments 2017 ; Landers 2016 ). Foxfire’s ethical pedigree is linked not only to

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Engineering responsibility

Environmental mitigation and the limits of commensuration in a Chilean mining project

Fabiana Li

Focusing on a controversial gold mining project in Chile, this article examines how engineers and other mining professionals perceive and help shape Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Compensation agreements, environmental management, and community relations programs rest on what I call a logic of equivalence that makes the environmental consequences of mining activity commensurate with the mining companies’ mitigation plans. For example, legal codes enable engineers to measure, compare, and reconcile the costs and benefits of a project. However, the law is neither fixed nor uncontestable, and companies must respond to increased public scrutiny and the growing demands of communities, governments, and international actors. In Chile, campaigns against mining focused on the presence of glaciers at the mine site and the project’s possible effects on water availability. By introducing new moral dimensions to debates over corporate responsibility, these campaigns challenged established strategies of commensuration and existing ethical guideposts.

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Improvisational economies

Coltan production in the eastern Congo


This paper examines the political economy of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a landscape marked by genocidal campaigns where residents are raped and robbed of cattle and crops, and the extent to which that terror has been abetted by the global market for columbite‐tantalite, or coltan. Coltan is a dense silicate ideal for digital technologies, and an estimated 80% of the world's reserves lie in the eastern region of the Congo, where the profitability of its mining to local warlords and the frenetic pace of digital speculation have made both agricultural production and pastoralism untenable. As a result, Congolese have had constantly to improvise production systems in order to survive. This improvisation, easy to gloss over as a survival strategy or adaptation, is in fact performed by creative agents who forge elaborately devised artisanal production systems, at times dangerously against the regimes of local warlords, to meet the insatiable global demand for digital products. Coltan is thus a conductor in a dual sense: of digital capacitors for cell phones or PlayStations, but also of the broader social and political economic processes that underlie the global production of knowledge. Indeed, in both a material and symbolic sense, this ore is a veritable source of information production in the digital age. As such, coltan holds importance for understanding the conflicting and diffuse global role of the digital age, as a source hope and creativity on the one hand; and as an instrument of terror, regimentation, and routinisation on the other.

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Social cohesion beyond borders

Does management of mining resources promote social cohesion and regional integration? Lessons from Canada and Mexico

Angeles Mendoza Sammet

English abstract: This contribution analyzes whether the transboundary use of mineral resources by Canadian companies contributes to local and regional cohesion. The analysis is based on documental reviews, a field visit, and conversations with stakeholders of Canadian mining projects in Mexico. The results strongly suggest that, despite the bene fits that are advertised in the discourses of the Canadian and Mexican governments, this economic relationship is not fostering social cohesion as would be expected. Rather than helping dispossessed sectors of Mexican society satisfy their basic needs, the lack of social responsibility on the part of national governments and some transnational mining companies is generating numerous environmental and social impacts and is resulting in violations of human and indigenous people's rights. This situation, however, is fostering social cohesion through shared values among dispossessed communities in Mexico, and between them and various civic, human rights, and environmental organizations in Canada.

Spanish abstract: Esta contribución analiza de qué forma el desarrollo de recursos mineros en México por empresas canadienses influye en la cohesión social local y regionalmente. El análisis se basa en revisión documental, visitas de campo y conversaciones con informantes clave. Los resultados fuertemente sugieren que esta relación comercial no está contribuyendo a mejorar la cohesión social como sería de esperarse si la minería contribuyera al desarrollo sustentable según lo promocionan los gobiernos de México y Canadá. En vez de contribuir a reducir la pobreza, se han generado diversos impactos sociales y ambientales debido a la falta de responsabilidad social que prevalece en el sector minero. Estos incluyen violaciones de derechos humanos y gentes indígenas. Sin embargo, estas consecuencias negativas están favoreciendo la cohesión social entre las comunidades afectadas por la minería en México y las organizaciones civiles en Canadá que están ejerciendo presión en Canadá para que haya cambios en el sistema político y legal para asegurar que las empresas canadienses operen de manera social y ambientalmente responsable.

French abstract: Ce e contribution entend voir de quelle manière l'utilisation transfrontalière des ressources minérales par des entreprises canadiennes contribuent à la cohésion locale et régionale. L'analyse se fonde sur l'examen des documents, une visite sur le terrain, et les interviews menées avec les parties prenantes des projets miniers canadiens au Mexique. Les résultats suggèrent fortement que, malgré les avantages formulés dans le discours des gouvernements canadien et mexicain, ce e relation économique ne conduit pas à la cohésion sociale comme on pourrait s'y attendre. Plutôt que d'aider les secteurs déshérités de la société mexicaine à satisfaire leurs besoins de base, le manque de responsabilité sociale de la part des deux gouvernements nationaux et certaines entreprises minières transnationales produit de nombreux impacts environnementaux et sociaux qui se traduisent par des violations des droits de l'homme des peuples indigènes. Ce e situation, cependant, favorise la cohésion sociale à travers des valeurs partagées entre les communautés dépossédées au Mexique, et entre eux et diff érentes organisations civiles défenseurs des droits de l'homme et environnementaux au Canada.