Mining Exploration, Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights: Untangling the Facts, Seeking Solutions

CIM Montreal 2007
Ana Carolina Silva, Carol Odell,
Abstract This presentation is based on a brief prepared for Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) to guide input at a series of round tables carried out by the Federal Government in response to the 38th Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) report, on “Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility”. The objective of this paper is to provide background information, analysis and recommendations on the practice of Canadian exploration and mining companies which have experience conflicts or controversies overseas.

This research was based on 11 case studies of Canadian companies which have attracted the attention of NGOs with environmental justice and human rights agendas. All case studies were assembled through an extensive literature review of publicly available documentation and communications with representatives of mining companies and communities to assist in deepening the insights into the drivers of the conflicts and the needs of Canadian companies in similar situations. The case studies include both exploration and mining operations.

Our analysis begins with the identification of general and case specific drivers of conflict/controversy in each case study. We then examine how key drivers associated with project context and company practice play varied and interrelated roles in conflicts. These include environmental and experiential legacies, presence of indigenous people and artisanal mining, subsistence lifestyles and poverty, militarization, recent mining policy changes, institutional capacity, government ownership and campaigns by NGOs. Finally, we discuss needs of companies and propose recommendations for addressing social responsibility and human rights concerns.
Keywords: Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, human rights
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Montreal 2007