VIOLENCE PER OUNCE: IS THERE A CORRELATION BETWEEN MINERAL VALUES AND CONFLICT INTENSITY?
Despite the fact that mined minerals and gemstones have allowed human beings to continuously improve their standard of living throughout the ages, mining has also been implicated in violent conflict for two principle reasons. The first is that mineral resources have been used or traded to conduct or finance violent conflict from small to large scales. The second is the substantial social, economic and environmental changes that occur in a community or a region as a result of mining activity which can either precipitate or re-awaken latent conflict. A modern complication of mining-related violent conflict is the trend for activists, international NGOs and intergovernmental organisations (e.g. the United Nations) to regard any human consequences of resource extraction in terms of Human Rights violations. Acknowledging but not labouring the Human Rights implications of mining-related violent conflict, this paper explores whether or not there is a relationship between the actual or perceived value of mineral resources and the level of violence that occurs in mining-related conflicts. Key to the investigation is a mapping exercise of mining related conflict from 2005 – 2012: to see where mining related conflict is happening; to identify precipitant causes of mining related conflict; and, to discover what correlation – if any – there might be in the degree of violence and the value of the mineral(s) implicated. Findings of the analysis are presented in this conference paper.
mining; minerals; mineral; Resources; Diamond; Diamonds; Data; Mine;