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GREAT insights Magazine

Mining for development

Volume 6, Issue 3 (July/August 2017)

July 2017

ECDPM. 2017. Thematic focus: Mining for development. GREAT Insights Magazine - Volume 6, Issue 3. July/August 2017.

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Embracing the complexity of mining for development – Editorial
Dr. San Bilal, ECDPM
Extractive resources have the potential to bring significant wealth to a country. Whether this translates into sustainable development is a totally different ball game. The rich-endowment of natural resources is often a mixed blessing, and at times a genuine curse.

Industrialisation and local content

Mining for Africa’s development
Olusegun Obasanjo, Greg Mills, and Dickie Davis,  Brenthurst Foundation
Africa’s all-important mining sector is in crisis. At its root is a lack of trust between mining companies, governments and civil society. A failure to tackle this crisis will result in serious, adverse implications for both economic growth and employment prospects at the very moment the continent’s need for jobs is rapidly increasing.

From Africa to Country Mining Visions
Isabelle Ramdoo, African Minerals Development Centre
In implementing country mining to transform their economies, African countries should foster the development of inclusive supply chains and stimulate upstream production linkages, including by tapping on the potential of mining procurement and designing national suppliers’ development programmes.

When local content requirements meet technological innovations
Joe Amoako-Touffour, African Center for Economic Transformation
The robots are coming to the mine nearest you. Technological innovations are shaping our future and changing the old way of doing things, including the productive systems in resource extraction.

Five key linkages to enable resource-led growth
Mark Beare, Oxford Policy Management
A robust governance framework in resource-rich countries to promote the linkages to be strengthened for sustainable and diverse economic development is critical to realise the benefits from resource-led growth.

Blueprints for sustainable industrialisation in West Africa: Lessons from resource-rich Nigeria
Amy Jadesimi, LADOL
Sustainable industrialisation is the key to unlocking inclusive prosperity in West Africa. Nigerian companies like LADOL provide valuable examples of how the private sector can drive development in these resource-rich, high-growth, low-income markets.

Mining and sustainable development

Local communities can reap better benefits from mining if market and fiscal channels are strong
Punam Chuhan-Pole and Andrew L. Dabalen, World Bank
Transforming resource wealth into well-being remains an important issue in Africa’s resource-abundant economies. Most benefits from extractives in Africa are likely to flow through national treasuries. But do local communities situated close to extraction sites gain any additional benefits? Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labour and land.

Between global and hyperlocal: A territorial approach to partnerships in mining
Alfonso Medinilla and Karim Karaki, ECDPM
The transformative nature of mining calls for an integrated territorial approach to multi-stakeholder partnerships and a better task division between companies, authorities, civil society and development partners.

Responsible mining: Partnership to help achieve the SDGs
Pam Bell, Lawrence Dechambenoit, Rosie Donachie, Arne Koeppel, and Richard Morgan
Partnerships in the mining sector can contribute to sustainable development. A group of large mining companies is working towards such partnerships at a European level.

On the political economy of reforms in the extractive sector
San Bilal, ECDPM
Poor or inappropriate policies, governance and institutional structures have commonly been blamed for the resource curse that plagues so many developing countries. Instead of focusing on mainly technical remedies, more effort should be dedicated to designing reforms that are incentive-compatible with key stakeholders that can drive or hinder such reforms, and to promoting initiatives that can enhance domestic incentives towards a pro-development path in resource-rich countries.

African mining, employment and women’s empowerment
Anja Tolonen, Barnard College, Columbia University
Extractive industries can play an important role in economic development in poorer countries, but its effects on gender equality have received little focus. This article discusses findings from recent empirical papers exploring the effect of large-scale mining on women’s empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Human capital

From mines and wells to well-built minds: Turning Sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resource wealth into human capital
Bénédicte de la Brière and Deon Filmer, World Bank
Sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resource-rich countries should invest some of their rents in the foundations of human capital, a smart strategy to convert finite resource wealth into broad-based long-term development.

Lack of skilled human capital in resource-rich Africa: The real paradox?
Nelly Farah Nguegan, International Relations Institute of Cameroon
The poor level of skills and institutional development in natural resource management observed in most resource-rich African countries comes not only from the lack of incentives to invest in human capital but also from the perverse effects of the international division of labour.

Due diligence and conflict minerals

A global initiative to end support to conflict through mineral production and trade
Louis Maréchal, OECD
The OECD, together with other international and regional organisations, the global private sector and civil society, has developed a programme to support companies to increase transparency and integrity and address risks in their mineral supply chains.

Trade as a vehicle of our values and development: The new EU Regulation on conflict minerals
Signe Ratso, DG Trade, European Commission
The new EU Regulation on conflict minerals, which entered into force on 8 June, shows how value-based and responsible trade can help conflict regions develop sustainably.

EU’s ore and metal import flows and engagement towards responsible sourcing in industry supply chains
Doris Schüler, Oeko-Institut e.V. Institute for Applied Ecology
Resource-rich countries and the EU are closely connected by complex raw material flows. This article shows the origin of EU metal imports and outlines the related EU responsibility for social and environmental impacts and a higher net-benefit for resource-rich developing countries.

A high price for cheap electronics
Théo Jaekel, Vinge Law
Though an important step in the right direction, the accompanying measures to the EU Regulation on the responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas risk failing to adequately tackle challenges on the ground in source countries.


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This publication benefits from structural support by ECDPM’s institutional partners The Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark.

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