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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the mining industry – the risk of community dependency



Using a case study of two multinational mining companies operating in the Western Region of Ghana, West Africa, this paper aims to examine the community development approaches of large scale mining companies, with particular reference to how they may engender community dependency. The paper begins with a review of CSR in the mining industry, corporate community initiatives and the problem of mining dependency at a national, regional and local level. CSR in the mining industry Walker and Howard (2002) outline several reasons why CSR and other such voluntary initiatives are important for mining companies. These include the
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the mining industry - the
risk of community dependency.
By Heledd Jenkins1 and Louise Obara2
Historically, the mining industry has taken a 'devil may care' attitude to the impacts of
its operations; operating in areas without social legitimacy, causing major devastation,
and then leaving when an area has been exhausted of all economically valuable
resources. Cost benefit language has often been used to excuse the damage caused in
one place because it is outweighed by the overall financial benefits (Jenkins, 2004).
However, in recent years the global mining industry has addressed its social and
environmental responsibilities; numerous factors have contributed to this, and the
extractive industry is key in debates about social and environmental sustainability
(Cowell et al., 1999). The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes of
mining companies tend to focus on community initiatives as their impact in economic,
social and environmental terms is felt greatest at the local level.
However, the effectiveness of CSR initiatives in the oil, gas and mining sectors has
been increasingly questioned (Frynas, 2005). While multinational mining companies
have ‘remodelled’ themselves as good corporate citizens there is little evidence as to
how this recognition of the need to address sustainability issues has affected
communities, and whether community development initiatives have been effective in
contributing to more sustainable communities. There is some risk that in undertaking
CSR a dependency on the company will develop. Whether intentional or unintentional
this can have serious consequences for the dependant community, particularly after
the mine closes.
Using a case study of two multinational mining companies operating in the Western
Region of Ghana, West Africa, this paper aims to examine the community
development approaches of large scale mining companies, with particular reference to
how they may engender community dependency. The paper begins with a review of
CSR in the mining industry, corporate community initiatives and the problem of
mining dependency at a national, regional and local level.
CSR in the mining industry
Walker and Howard (2002) outline several reasons why CSR and other such
voluntary initiatives are important for mining companies. These include the
Public opinion of the sector as a whole is poor; opinion of natural resource
extraction industries is influenced more by concerns over environmental and
social performance than by performance in areas such as product pricing,
quality, and safety (Rae and Rouse, 2001).
1 Heledd Jenkins, Research Associate, the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability
and Society (BRASS), Cardiff University. Email:, tel: 029 20876562, address: 55 Park
Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, web:
2 Louise Obara, Research Associate, the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and
Society (BRASS), Cardiff University. Email:, tel: 029 20876562, address: 55 Park Place,
Cardiff, CF10 3AT, web:
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Pressure groups have consistently targeted the sector at local and international
levels, challenging the industry’s legitimacy. An example of this is the
numerous environmental, community and indigenous groups who oppose the
development of a uranium mine at Jabiluka in the Kakadu National Park in
Australia. Many large NGOs have campaigns specifically targeted at the
mining industry, such as Oxfam’s Mining Campaign3 and Friends of the Earth
International’s Mining Campaign (resisting economic globalisation)4.
The financial sector is increasingly focusing on the sector from both risk
management and social responsibility perspectives. It is not unusual for
mining companies to be screened out of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)
funds altogether (SRI Compass, 2002).
Maintaining ‘a licence to operate’ is a constant challenge. For example,
resistance by numerous social organisations to the expansion of gold mining at
Mount Quilish Peru has led Newmont to suspend its activities5.
For mining companies, CSR is the manifestation of a move towards greater
sustainability in the industry i.e. the practical implementation of the goals of
sustainability. CSR is a means by which companies can frame their attitudes and
strategies towards, and relationships with, stakeholders, be they investors, employees
or, as is salient here, communities, within a popular and acceptable concept. In the
mining industry, progress within the three dimensions of sustainable development
(economic, environmental and social) could be achieved through - economic
development investment of generated revenues to ensure the future development
and long-term livelihood of the communities (Epps, 1996); environmental protection
– minimising the environmental impact of natural resource exploitation and land
rehabilitated to allow successive use (Sànchez, 1998); and social cohesion – reducing
the social and cultural disruption to communities, maintenance of stakeholder
dialogue and transparency of operation (ibid.). In their efforts to embrace CSR,
companies must identify the interests, concerns and objectives of various stakeholders
(including national, regional government, local authorities, indigenous people, local
communities, employees and competitors) and address their often-varying needs
(Guerra, 2002).
There are a number of business reasons aside from external pressure why mining
companies invest in communities through their CSR programmes. Frynas (2005)
outlines these as:
Obtaining a competitive advantage - community investment programmes are
used to aid the awarding of concessions as companies appearing to be socially
responsible are often favoured in this process.
Receiving and maintaining a stable working environment – CSR initiatives are
occasionally initiated as a means of ‘buying’ the local communities’
agreement to allow a company to operate.
Managing external perceptions and maintaining a good reputation - CSR
initiatives are used for PR purposes.
3 [accessed 8th October, 2004].
4 [accessed 8th October, 2004].
5 See [accessed 8th October, 2004].
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Keeping employees happy - CSR initiatives can often make staff feel more
positive about the company, and can increase motivation and efficiency. They
can also help to retain and recruit the best staff.
A key stakeholder for all mining companies, and therefore a strong focus for their
CSR initiatives, is ‘the community’. Mining has a huge impact on local communities;
positive effects include the creation of new communities and wealth, income from
export revenues and royalties, technology transfer, skilled employment and training
for local populations and improvements in infrastructure such as roads, schools and
health clinics (CAFOD, 2006; MMSD, 2002).The negative impacts of mining on local
communities have been well documented (see Table 1).
“Widespread criticisms centre on the externalisation of the economic,
environmental and social costs of the industry, its negative impacts on
sustainable development of host communities, and the inequitable and
unsustainable distribution of its costs and benefits. The negative impacts of
mining are concentrated disproportionately on marginalised or disadvantaged
sections of society, including indigenous peoples, women and economically
disadvantaged rural communities...” (Techa Beaumont, Director, Mineral
Policy Institute6).
The numerous social and environmental issues associated with the mining industry
include access to land issues at the exploration and mining stages, environmental
pollution, damage to the health of affected communities and the increased
mechanisation of the industry, which negatively impacts employment levels
(Mitchell, 1999; Cottrell and Rankin, 2000; Hilson and Murck, 2001).
Social impacts of mining companies on communities
Any benefits to the community may be unequally shared.
Corporate community initiatives may be seen as poor recompense for damage to livelihoods, the
environment and community.
Social tensions in communities due to the changes brought about by mining can give rise to
violent conflict.
Technical improvements in the mining industry can lead to a decrease in employment and an
increase in the level of skills needed.
The mining sectors isolation from other sectors can negate the multiplier effect often associated
with the location of a major industry in an area.
Land title disputes may occur between local groups, mining companies and the government.
Traditional cultures may have difficulty coping with vast industrial operations and the influx of
Poor local and national governance can lead to a company having too much power in the local
Table 1. The possible negative social impacts of mining on communities (adapted from MMSD,
The effectiveness of CSR initiatives in the oil, gas and mining sectors has been
increasingly questioned; there is mounting evidence of a gap between the stated
intentions of companies and their actual behaviour and impact in the real world
(Frynas, 2005). Considerable effort has been made by the industry to highlight its
commitment to both protecting the environment and addressing the needs of
6 The Mineral Policy Institute, see [accessed 10/07/2006].
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communities; however, minimal research has hitherto been undertaken to determine
the accuracy and impact of the commitments made by mining corporations to
sustainability and CSR in company policies.
Maintaining positive relations with mining communities - corporate community
Veiga et al. (2001, p.191) describe mining communities as:
“...where the population is significantly affected by a nearby mining
operation. The community may be associated with the mining venture through
direct employment or through environmental, social, economic or other
impacts. The community can range in size from a city to a
village...Communities vary in the profile and perceptions about mining and
The Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (MMSD) report
‘Breaking New Ground’ (2002), describes three different types of mining
communities occupational, residential and indigenous communities. Occupational
communities are households or families who derive all or most of their income from
mining. Residential communities are those who live within the geographical area
affected by mining and can have been in existence before the mine or have developed
as a result of the mining operations. Indigenous communities are described as:
“...households or families with an ancient and cultural attachment to the land
where mining occurs or has an impact” (MMSD, 2002, p.200).
Another type of community that often co-exists with large-scale mining operations is
the artisanal or small-scale mining community. Small-scale mining is primarily a
poverty-related activity, usually found in remote rural areas of developing countries,
where there are few employment opportunities and where education levels are
extremely low. It is usually characterized by small, relatively unsophisticated
operations using simple tools, little mechanization and lacking formal business
arrangements or legal title to the sites extracted (UN, 1996; Kambani, 2000; Hilson,
2002). Small-scale mining has a huge potential for land use conflict as different
interests compete for a limited amount of resources, and clear, legitimate rights of
access are often lacking (Ayling and Kelly, 1997).
These ‘types’ of community are not mutually exclusive and are more neatly
delineated here than the reality on the ground. ‘The community’ has proved a difficult
concept to define, possibly because, as Cohen (1985) notes, the community exists in
the minds of its members, and should not be confused with geographic or
sociographic assertions of fact. Corporate communications on CSR persistently refer
to how companies perceive themselves to be part of the community (Jenkins, 2004).
However, identifying a community is a complex task; any definition of a community
is a construct, an imposing of order that does not necessarily fit the lived experience
of the people in question (Kapelus, 2002). Companies often see a situation framed in
scientific fact, whereas many of the communities that they perceive themselves to be
part of base their view on beliefs and perceptions. This may be of particular relevance
to indigenous peoples, where radically different world-views may clash with
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corporations’ scientific ‘development’ rationale (Wheeler et al., 2002). Companies
must be sensitive to these differences when developing their community involvement
In recent years, a number of multinational mining corporations have rapidly expanded
their operations into rural reaches of the developing world, drawn in by attractive,
highly-liberalized investment regimes (Warhurst and Insor, 1996), and bringing them
into contact with local communities. Thus, under liberalization, amicable relations
with local communities have become a priority concern in the mining sector (MMSD,
2002) and governments must also play a key role in substituting produced and social
capital for the deleting natural capital (Auty, 1998). However, political instability, a
lack of government presence, impoverished regulations, and low levels of monitoring
have often put the onus of responsibility on mining companies to ensure that positive
relations with communities are established and maintained. .
Sustainable development requires net and equitable benefits, and the building of
social capacity for the affected communities that continue throughout and beyond the
closure of the mine and a company’s CSR programme should address this. Auty
(1998) notes that social capital – ‘the institutional and cultural base required for a
society to function’ is very important for the social sustainability of communities.
Some mining companies are making attempts to face the existing challenges in order
to improve resource efficiency, and are undertaking stakeholder liaison exercises to
prevent future confrontations (Cottrell and Rankin, 2000).
As well as bringing mining revenues to an area and providing financial compensation
for the loss of land, housing and livelihoods, community involvement initiatives that
mining companies may employ include:
Infrastructure improvements – for example, building access roads, community
buildings and schools.
Community Health Initiatives - offering health services to employees and their
families, and building and equipping hospitals and health centres for
Community foundations a fund generated by the company that is used for
social investment purposes, these can also attract interest from external
Supporting small local businesses – preferential procurement policies for local
Sustainable livelihood projects the purpose of these is to reduce the
communities’ economic dependence on the mine, and develop alternative and
sustainable employment opportunities for stakeholder communities.
Micro-credit finance schemes these loans can be used to launch new
enterprises, create jobs, and help economies to flourish.
With access to credit families can invest according to their own priorities, for
example schools fees, health care, nutrition, or housing, and rather than
focusing on day-to-day survival, people can plan for the future. Micro-credit
schemes aimed at women can offer opportunities to the most disadvantaged
groups in communities.
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However, numerous criticisms have been levelled at mining companies community
involvement efforts. Swift and Zadek (2002) note that while there is a strong potential
for CSR to make a positive contribution to addressing the needs of disadvantaged
communities, there are ways in which CSR could, whether by mistake or by design,
damage such communities.
Firstly, there is a lack of transparency over revenue flows to mining communities and
how much is spent on corporate community initiatives. Auty (1998) argues that this
information is necessary to lay a foundation upon which to build the social capital
needed to mitigate conflict and sustain development The Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been developed to address this and aims to ensure
that the revenues from extractive industries contributes to sustainable development
and poverty reduction. It supports improved governance in resource-rich countries
through the full publication and verification of company payments and government
revenues from oil, gas and mining7. However, only 7 mining companies have signed
in support of the Initiative to date.
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is the most widely applied tool used to address and
mitigate the social impacts of mine development (MMSD, 2002), and to plan the
development needs of the community. However, there are many inadequacies in the
SIAs currently employed that need to be addressed so that the social and economic
issues are fully understood and that the SIA process is ongoing, dynamic and fully
consultative (see MMSD, 2002 for a full discussion of the problems).
Inequitable distribution of resource based benefits can cause tension and conflict
within and between communities and the funds for community development projects
may be misappropriated. In many mining communities the systems in operation
require ‘top men’ (Auty, 1998) or local chiefs to disperse mining revenues throughout
the community. Such funds are often used on immediate consumption rather than
long-term projects and the accumulation of social capital needed to sustain
Corporate community initiatives may divert attention away from broader political,
economic and social solutions, and be inappropriate mechanisms for addressing social
problems in developing countries. Frynas (2005) outlines a number of reasons why
company CSR programmes may fail to address the needs of communities and
therefore detrimentally affect their sustainable development.
Country/context specific issues (corruption, conflict, bureaucracy) for
example, in Ghana conflict exists between large-scale mining companies and
illegal small-scale miners who mine on their concessions. This impacts on
how companies perceive the community and how they develop their
community involvement initiatives.
Failure to involve the beneficiaries of CSR communities need to be given
the opportunity to help themselves through ongoing participation in
community development projects rather than being recipients of top-down
“gifts” from the company.
7 For more information on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative see
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Lack of human resources and appropriate skills – mining company employees
tend to have technical, engineering or managerial backgrounds and are not the
most appropriate people to deal with complex social issues. Also, long-term
CSR initiatives may be hampered by the turnover of staff.
The often micro-level perspective of companies – the impacts of mining have
far-reaching effects beyond the immediate location of the mine. A macro-level
perspective is needed to integrate CSR initiatives such as community
involvement into a larger sustainable development plan.
Consultation with communities - where consultation with communities does
take place it is often superficial and inadequate. Consultation is rarely all-
inclusive, leading to some members of the community being given more
‘voice’ than others, usually those who hold power in the community such as
men and tribal leaders.
Many of these shortcomings in company CSR initiatives exacerbate the problem of
‘dependency’- this will be discussed in the following section.
Too great a dependence on a single commodity can be a problem mineral driven
economies are vulnerable to fluctuations in mineral prices and exchange rates and
other sectors, such as agriculture, may suffer as a result of a minerals boom (CAFOD,
2006). This is often described as the ‘resource curse thesis’– where resource abundant
countries display weak economic performance as the foreign capital inputs needed for
mining impoverish rather than enrich a nation (for more on resource curse thesis see
Auty, 1990; Sachs and Warner, 1995, 1999, 2001; Mikesell, 1997; and Gylfason et
al., 1999). This theory concludes that natural-resource-rich nations, such as Ghana,
are less likely to continue on an upward development curve than human- resource-rich
nations. For example, overall in the 1990s mining countries with over 50% mining
exports saw their GDP per capita fall at a rate of 2.3% each year (World Bank, 2002).
However, in countries like Ghana the World Bank continues to push mineral
dependency as a basis for development, despite its propensity to destroy sustainable
local economies and create dependence on mining8. The problem does not necessarily
lie in the existence of natural resources, but in poor management, the lack of linkages
that mining generates with the rest of the economy, and the incorrect use of mining
rents (Ite, 2005).
Ahiakpor (1985) outlines some of the reasons why less-developed countries (LDCs)
experience under-development and detrimental effects as a result of their linkages
with industrialised countries (as in mineral economies).
LDCs are not able to take advantage of advanced technology and management
skills due to being relatively poor in capital and skills, and foreign
technologies compete unfairly with and destroy local production techniques,
creating a pool of unemployable ‘marginalised’ people.
Holder’s of investments in LDCs demand annual returns for continued support
– profits are taken out of the country or guaranteed by tax concessions.
8 See ‘Mining, murder and mayhem: The impact of mining in the South’ by Danny Kennedy, Third World Network, [accessed 10/07/2006].
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Unwillingness of foreign firms to train local people to take over management
Regions and communities that depend on mining developments may realise huge
benefits, the industry can contribute to continuous learning leading to innovation, to
improving the health of people and the environment, and to developing vigorous and
diverse communities (Lapalme, 2003). However, resource-dependent communities
such as ‘mining towns’ are also very vulnerable to fluctuations in the mining
industry’s fortunes. The closure of mines and resultant loss of economic activity can
be devastating, including the legacy of environmental damage, the loss of jobs leading
to high local unemployment and associated problems, the impacts on residential
property values and the effects on infrastructure originally provided by the company
(Laurence, 2006). Heavy dependence on mining also correlates strongly with a wide
range of serious social problems, such as high levels of poverty, low levels of
education, and poor health care. Nearly half of the world's poorest countries show this
dependency: mining is their biggest export sector9.
When a new mining operation starts up local communities often view it as an
opportunity to be exploited, to be provided with resources and infrastructure that will
enhance their welfare (Auty, 1998; Frynas, 2005; Ite, 2005). However, many of the
social opportunities provided by CSR activities border on creating a culture of
dependency on a depleting asset with a finite life, which is an unsustainable process
(Auty, 1998).
Frynas (2005) describes a ‘dependency mentality’ whereby communities look to a
company to provide them with resources as recompense for social and environmental
damage. This results in the attitude that as the company initially provided the resource
they are responsible should anything go wrong, i.e. communities perceive that they
don’t ‘own’ the project. Often communities do not have the required skills to maintain
a project as local resources were not utilised in its implementation. Initiatives
introduced in this way cannot remain functional without the continued support of
outsiders; they do not build local social capital and are therefore unlikely to contribute
to the sustainable development of communities. Unfortunately, many community
involvement initiatives introduced by mining companies follow this ‘paternalistic’
pattern. This is clearly illustrated by the following quote concerning Shell’s activities
in the Niger Delta –
“...gradually, the dependency culture became established and the communities
saw the development infrastructure provided by Shell not as charity, but as a
form of rent for Shell’s use (and abuse) of their environment and resources.
The result has been the evolution of a mind-set and culture of dependence on
Shell.” (Ite, 2005, p. 921).
If services are dependent on the mining company for funds or operational capacity,
these services will then disappear with closure of the mine and withdrawal of the
mining company from the area (Lapalme, 2003). There is a possibility that a
community will come to depend exclusively on a mining development and find itself
deficient in social and economic resources once the mining development has run its
9 See ’Metals and the Wealth of Nations’, No Dirty Gold Campaign [accessed 10/07/2006].
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course. A lack of government presence can also mean that mining companies are
required to undertake a role that they believe governments should perform. This
blurring between state and corporate roles can lead to community dependency on ill-
conceived and poorly consulted community development programmes that have not
been properly incorporated into overall government development plans for a region.
The environmental damage caused by mining may result in the loss of land for other
economic/livelihood uses e.g. agriculture, which leads to greater dependency on the
mine. Communities who are affected by mining operations, either by loss of land and
livelihoods or the need to relocate are dependent on mining companies for payouts to
remediate this damage, which leads to the imposition of handout dependency. The
social and environmental impacts of mining also undermine women’s ability to
sustain their livelihoods, and they are unlikely to receive direct employment from the
mine. This leads to vulnerability, powerlessness and a lack of voice and greater
dependency on the mine and on men and those with power in the community.
Justice and equity are also key tenets of dependency. If the opening up of areas in
LDCs to foreign mining companies is seen as a ‘window of opportunity’, then fair and
equitable benefits should result (Hilson & Haselip, 2005). However, multi-national
mining companies have more access to information and the relevant skills to bargain
for benefits and to decide how those benefits may be distributed to the communities in
which they operate. Communities are then put into a position of having to depend on
what the companies decide is fair and equitable distribution of benefits. Consultation
is therefore key to ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of benefits and ensuring
that mining developments contribute positively to sustainable communities. However,
many communities lack the capacity to negotiate in the consultation process.
Communities may not be well organised around a leader or a civic movement and are
therefore unable to collectively negotiate. They are even weaker negotiating as
individual families. Some companies exploit this weakness by insisting on negotiating
with individuals who often end up getting a raw deal. Capacity limitations exacerbate
problems in the consultation process, such as:
Inadequate or non-existent independent, baseline data which can serve as
benchmarks to enforce standards.
Technology and human resource problems.
Absence and the enforcement of a legal framework, which adequately
provides for the rights of communities10.
This leads to a situation of powerlessness - if a community lacks the power to
influence an outcome it must rely/depend on those who do, and hope that a positive
outcome is achieved. However a company’s priorities will differ from those of the
community. The company’s priority is their shareholders whose demands may be in
direct conflict with those of the community. Also, the ‘business case’ for CSR puts
benefits for the company above those for the community.
“...there are risks for the industry in becoming too involved and taking the
place of government, or in not being involved enough with the community and
facing opposition to a proposed or existing project...” (Lapalme, 2003, p. 23).
10 See ‘Mining boom - a gain for Africa?’ by Charles Abugre and Thomas Akabzaa, Thirld World Network, [accessed 10/07/2006].
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There is a very fine line between CSR that creates dependency and CSR that develops
a community or region in a sustainable way. The challenge for mining companies
therefore is to develop CSR programmes that maintain good will for the company and
address the long-term developmental needs of communities in a sustainable way,
without creating a culture of dependency.
Case study: gold mining in Ghana
In recent years numerous multinational mining companies have rapidly expanded
their operations into rural reaches of the developing world, drawn in by attractive,
highly-liberalized investment regimes (Warhurst and Insor, 1996). As a precondition
for securing World Bank and IMF loans, recipient governments in mainly developing
countries have divested state mineral assets, privatised large-scale mining operations,
and implemented favourable mineral taxation and investment policies. Ghana is one
such country that has undergone a lengthy structural adjustment programme under the
auspices of the World Bank. Reforming the mining sector was seen by the World
Bank as a key factor in attempts to alleviate the economic crisis in Ghana. Since the
mid 1980s the Government has privatised its large-scale mining sector, attracting over
$4 million in foreign investment for the development and expansion of large-scale
gold mining and explorations activities alone (Hilson & Potter, 2003), and has, to
date, overtaken cocoa as the biggest single foreign currency earner11. The reform of
the mining sector, therefore, has produced a dramatic boom in investment flows and
“the national economy has been quite dependent on the sector” (Aryee, 2000:71).
Compared with other mineral-rich countries, however, Ghana is not solely dependent
on the mining sector and the contribution of other export commodities, such as cocoa
and timber, is also substantial.
“The dependence is therefore on a few predominantly primary
commodities rather than just minerals. Admittedly this makes the economy
more susceptible to the vagaries of the volatile prices of primary
commodities” (Aryee, 2000, p. 71).
Aryee (2000) also notes that Ghana’s dependence on the mining sector could deepen
if the Government continues to implement measures that expand the sector without
ensuring that the country as a whole reaps the maximum possible benefit.
The environmental and social costs associated with the significant restructuring of
Ghana’s gold mining industry have been dear. The national Coalition of Civil Society
Groups Against Mining argues that Ghana’s growing foreign investment and
production in the mining sector has had a devastating affect on the country’s national
economy, environment, community livelihoods and human rights12. Communities
have been detrimentally affected in many ways by large-scale mining activities; entire
villages have been relocated to make way for surface mining operations13,
compensation packages for the loss of land as well as livelihoods have been heavily
11 Stickler A, 2006 Ghana's ruthless corporate gold rush. BBC File On 4. Available at [accessed 25 July 2006].
12 See [accessed 8th December, 2004].
13 For example, it is reported that between 1990 and 1998 more than 30,000 people were displaced in Ghana’s
Tarkwa District, as well as rivers contaminated and farms and forest land destroyed (Hilson & Potter 2003, Akabzaa,
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criticised for being woefully inadequate, and violent clashes have taken place between
communities and the security forces of mining companies and/or the police of the
Ghanaian Government14.
A further consequence of the mining sector reforms, which has negatively impacted
on a sizeable section of the Ghanaian population, concerns competition over land use
between large-scale and small-scale mining parties. The rapid proliferation of large-
scale mining activity has led to a sharp increase in the number of disputes between
multinational companies and Ghana’s small-scale miners as productive gold-
mineralised land has become an increasingly scarce commodity (Hilson & Potter,
2005). The conflict between small-scale and large-scale miners in Ghana is deeply-
rooted; large-scale miners argue that they have gone through the necessary legal
channels to secure concessions and should therefore have legal entitlement, and
indigenous groups and small-scale mining parties maintain that they have cultural ties
to land. Even though the Ghanaian Government formalised the small-scale mining
sector in the late 1980’s implementing a streamlined licensing process for
indigenous grassroots operators – the Government continues to marginalise small-
scale miners by focussing on, and awarding large viable plots of land to large-scale
mining companies. Hilson and Potter (2005) argue that the Government fails to
recognise that, in a country with escalating levels of unemployment, the small-scale
mining industry generates a significant number of direct and indirect forms of
employment. In addition, as many as 85% of the country’s small-scale miners have,
for a number of reasons, opted to remain unregistered15 (referred to locally as
galamsey) and operate alongside Ghana’s large-scale mining companies and licensed
small-scale miners, which has caused considerable tension within many rural areas of
the country. A negative public perception surrounds illegal small-scale mining who
are accused (often by the media) of causing widespread environmental damage,
promoting child labour, and most significantly, encroaching and causing grievances
on land plots demarcated to large-scale miners.
The environmental and social degradation that communities in Ghana have
experienced so far looks set to continue given the resolute focus of the government on
expanding large-scale surface mining and attracting foreign multinational companies.
Critics argue that the forthcoming new Minerals and Mining Bill, which the
government asserts will include better provisions for illegal miners and communities,
does not address the concerns of mining communities but actually worsens the already
unfavourable situation16. Moreover, there are increasing concerns that the government
will approve surface mining operations to take place in the country’s protected forest
reserves – areas recognised as globally significant for their biological diversity
which could lead to the displacement of thousands of people who are directly
dependent on the forest for provision of basic needs and livelihoods (Hilson &
Nyame, 2006).
Having described the gold mining industry in Ghana and its associated impacts on
communities, the following section will present the community development
14 It is reported that two people were killed and thirteen injured as a result of five separate shooting incidences in
2005 alone. (Stickler A, 2006 Ghana's ruthless corporate gold rush. BBC File On 4. Available at [accessed 25 July 2006]).
15 The reasons for this are varied and include “insufficient institutional support, complications with the registration
process, and the presence of uncooperative large-scale mining companies” (Hilson & Potter, 2003:250-251).
16 [accessed 20th July, 2006].
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strategies of two large-scale mining companies operating in Ghana. These approaches
will be compared and critically assessed, highlighting the risk inherent in many
community development schemes in creating a culture of dependency.
The research sought to investigate the impact of gold mining in Ghana and critically
examine the complex relationships between the Ghanaian Government, large-scale
mining companies, small-scale miners and indigenous communities. In 2005 fifteen
semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders were undertaken to access a range of
informative perspectives on the issue, and included Government officials, large-scale
mining companies, small-scale miners, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and
licensed gold buyers. Also, several focus group interviews were conducted with
galamsey communities that have been affected by land use disputes with large-scale
mining companies. A predominantly qualitative method of investigation was selected
to allow the researchers to explore at length the viewpoints of each relevant party in
an area where the nature and causes of disputes over land rights is complex and
poorly understood. A range of secondary material was also collected, for example
Government and NGO documents, company sustainable development reports, and
magazine, newspaper and journal articles.
A key area of the research included an in-depth analysis of large-scale mining
companies’ community involvement activities, and to explore the circumstances and
conditions in which such corporate initiatives are developed, implemented and
perceived by communities and stakeholders. A comparative case study analysis of two
large-scale mining companies was conducted and consisted of a critical assessment
and comparison of the different approaches taken by the companies towards mining
communities and community development as a whole.
The data gathered from the interviews and secondary material was assessed to
investigate whether there is a risk that in undertaking CSR a dependency on the case
study companies will develop, or has in fact already occurred. If a culture of
dependency has resulted from the companies’ community involvement activities has
this been an unintentional consequence or have community involvement programmes
been created as mechanisms of dependency that can be used to pacify communities?
The paper concludes with a discussion and examination of strategies for breaking the
dependency culture of company community involvement initiatives while still
maintaining a strong commitment to CSR and contributing to the sustainable
development of communities.
Case Studies
The mining companies selected for the case study are located in the Western Region
of Ghana (see Figure 1); an area which houses 50 per cent of the country’s gold mines
and has been especially prone to disputes and heightened tension between large-scale
mining companies and local communities. Both companies are foreign multi-national
corporations with mining operations worldwide, and in Ghana each company has a
number of underground and open cast mines. An outline of each company’s main
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community development activities is provided below, including the rationale behind
these activities from the perspective of company representatives.
Figure 1. Map of Ghana’s Western Region.
Company A
The community development approach of Company A is based on a Foundation
Fund, set up by the company, which is used to support various community
development activities. The fund is generated entirely by the company; for every
ounce of gold produced $1 is allocated to the fund, as well as 0.5% of the company’s
annual profit before tax. This fund has been in place for a number of years and has
financed a variety of community development activities and projects such as social
investment support, assistance for the construction and repair of local infrastructure
(roads, sanitation, water supply, education facilities), and establishing sustainable
livelihood programmes. A board of key stakeholders manage and allocate the
Foundation Fund:
“Trust Funds are independent from the company’s office. Unlike maybe other
mining companies, the percentage of the profit that they give to the community
is solely managed by the mine. Here it’s not like that. On the board you have
some of the key community people…for instance you have two MPs”
(Company A representative).
The company is now embarking on a five year community development plan, which
is more structured and comprehensive in its objectives than previous community
development work. A participatory approach was undertaken in the development of
the five year strategy and a number of stakeholders were involved, including a study
on galamsey operators. The company’s community development activities over the
next five years will focus on ‘primary stakeholder communities’, which have been
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identified on the basis of a community’s proximity to the company’s mining
operations as well as,
“…some traditional definitions there are a few communities which we do
not think that we directly impact upon, maybe about 15km away, that we still
consider as stakeholder communities because they have a traditional stake”
(Company A representative)
One of the main objectives of the community development plan is to focus on the
sustainability of communities once the mining operations are closed.
“We hope that even after the mine the community should be able to live, you
know, life should be able to go on. We could have developed infrastructure,
like schools but we realised that in the communities that they don’t have
livelihood. How they are going to sustain these amenities. That is why now we
are looking more into livelihood of the communities” (Company A
A significant aspect of the company’s livelihood focus is the establishment of
alternative and sustainable livelihood programmes. The purpose of this approach is to
reduce the communities’ economic dependence on the mine, and develop alternative
and sustainable employment opportunities for stakeholder communities. The company
has employed an alternative livelihood expert and projects have been set up in
consultation with communities and regional governmental agencies, and practical
training and initial material support have also been provided. A variety of livelihood
programmes have been developed thus far, including farming of poultry, pigs, snails
and fish, batik fabric printing, and improved cultivation methods for food crops. In
“A formal monitoring and evaluation programme will be established to guide
the future progress of these programmes towards achieving self-sufficiency
and improved economic security in the communities involved” (Company A
Annual Report).
The new community development strategy also aims to address two significant flaws
in the company’s previous community development work: firstly to concentrate on
the sustainability of projects.
“Initially we realised that we were doing more fire-fighting in terms of
community development, we were putting up projects, schools and so on, they
were not co-ordinated and we hadn’t looked at the sustainability of most of
the projects. Imagine that you’ve put up a school; maybe there are no systems
in place to ensure that the school continues even when the mine is not there.
They were not linked up to any other activities. So we thought we should sit
down, get some professionals to do a community development plan, which
would take into consideration the sustainability of whatever project that we
do” (Company A representative).
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A further weakness of earlier community development work recognised by the
company was a failure to include and consult those who are the actual focus of
community development programmes.
“…also to ensure that the projects are not ones that the company just sat
down to provide, but they were those that were arrived at as an interaction
with the communities” (Company A representative).
Therefore, the company assert that they now hold monthly meetings with community
leaders and representatives of adjacent communities, as well as attend all district
assembly planning committee meetings. Also the company has recently signed a new
initiative in Ghana which aims to establish a new era in mining that is responsive to
the needs of communities and to promote best practice in areas such as human rights
and community development.
Despite taking measures to remedy past oversights, the company has inadvertently
created a culture of dependency. A failure to interact and consult with communities
results in community development projects that communities do not require and/or are
perceived as gifts’ from outsiders, which the community does not feel that it
collectively owns. Communities begin to rely on the company to support and maintain
the ‘company’s assets’. Local NGOs claim that Company A’s previous community
development activities included instances of ‘buying’ the communities agreement in
terms of providing physical structures and promising more funds for social projects as
recompense for environmental damage caused.
“So you can’t buy people with structures” (Local NGO representative).
This activity is not uncommon in the mining sector and it contributes to a dependency
mentality. It can also be argued that this represents an attempt by mining companies
to pacify the community - essentially to ‘buy’ their conformity in order to ensure a
stable working environment.
Company B
The community development approach of this company has become more co-
ordinated and structured since 2004 with the inception of a designated Community
Relations department. The initial activities of the department in relation to community
development have been on building relationships with key individuals within their
‘catchment communities’. These are communities that the company has identified as
the focus of their development work and were selected on the basis of communities
most directly affected by the company’s mining operations i.e. communities that are
within close geographical proximity to their mining activities. Galamsey operators are
not included in the company’s community development work and are in fact deemed
a ‘risk’ by the company.
“You wouldn’t have meetings with the galamsey; the company doesn’t
recognise the galamsey” (Company B representative)
Company B has experienced many problems and disputes with illegal miners
operating on their concession, the causes of which are extremely complex. To some
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extent the tension between the two parties is due to the sheer number of galamsey
situated on their concession. The heightened tension and conflict surrounding the
company’s mining operations is partly responsible for the company’s difficulty in
distinguishing key stakeholders to consult with and adds a complicating factor to its
development of community involvement initiatives.
“…and also trying to identify who they are, because one of the problems that
we’ve had is there’s quite a lot of internal conflict exists within the
communities” (Company B representative).
The company recognises that previous community development work has actually
contributed to conflict already present within communities as significant sections
were excluded from consultations the company undertook.
It can be seen how the company’s previous consultation method not only exacerbated
conflict within/between communities but contributed to the dependency culture. Even
though the company is cognisant of the fact that previous consultations were
inadequate and exclusionary, they continue to deliberately exclude a significant
portion of the community, i.e. illegal small-scale miners. By interacting with ‘key
individuals’ important sections of the community are excluded, not only illegal
miners, which can result in inappropriate community development projects and/or
creates conflict within/between communities as is already the case. It is well
documented that mining companies who adopt a thorough and all-inclusive
consultation approach are less likely to experience significant problems with
communities, and Company B’s approach will, in all likelihood, worsen the already
volatile situation with illegal miners on their concession.
Besides developing and maintaining relationships with key individuals in the
community, further community development activities have focussed on two main
aspects. Firstly, the company have provided funding for community assistance
programmes such as school improvements and equipment, libraries, community
centres, road improvements, and so forth. Future development work however will
focus predominantly on the provision of physical structures.
“…we are trying to move from that concept of support in terms of
maintenance and other things, to assets building” (Company B
According to the company the reason for this shift in direction is twofold;
communities themselves have requested the construction of structures, and the
company can exhibit their commitment to community development more easily than
purely maintenance work. The company is also beginning to address the sustainability
of community development projects.
“The problem is the community doesn’t actually know how to manage their
resources, so this is one of our longer term projects, we understand that one of
our main objectives is to, whenever we build a new structure is to identify any
training” (Company B representative).
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The fact that the company is beginning to consider the sustainability of community
projects represents a step forward compared with the company’s previous community
development work; however, there are still significant drawbacks with their approach.
Focussing on building physical structures, rather than developing the social capability
of communities, is likely to increase the communities’ dependence on the company.
As highlighted earlier, weaknesses in their consultation method suggests it is doubtful
whether the whole community were consulted and thus only the demands of ‘key
individuals’ (who do not necessarily represent the community as a whole) will be
heard. More alarming is the tokenistic element of this strategy; using community
development as an opportunity to showcase the company’s commitment to CSR does
not represent an approach that will benefit the community in the long-term, but
resembles a public relations act.
“PR needs may, for instance, prioritise media-friendly projects such as
helping to construct a new hospital, rather than slow local-capacity building
or the training of village nurses” (Frynas, 2005, p.585).
Like Company A the company has focussed on the establishment of alternative
livelihood projects for communities. These projects have a mainly agricultural focus,
such as fish farming, mulberry plantations, and silk production and processing. The
main rationale for this approach is to reduce community dependence on mining and
promote the growth of alternative and sustainable economic development.
The CSR approach of the companies analysed above have contributed in varying
degrees to the development of a dependency mentality. A core feature of both
companies future community development work concerns lessening the dependency
link and focussing on the sustainability of communities. This will be an extremely
difficult process, not least because they will need to address and rectify past mistakes,
which encouraged a dependency mentality to develop in the first place. Company B in
particular is likely to experience considerable difficulties in light of the significant
weaknesses in its CSR strategy, together with the fact that their ‘catchment’
communities are communities of ‘occupation’, i.e. communities who are
predominantly dependent on the mine. While the issue of dependency is highly
complex, multi-faceted and, to a large degree, context specific – there are a number of
strategies that companies can take to break the dependency culture and maintain a
strong commitment to CSR.
There are a number of issues that must be addressed if mining companies’ community
involvement initiatives are to be effective, sustainable and prevent creating a culture
of dependency. These are discussed in turn.
There is currently no assessment of the success or failure of community initiatives.
This is in part due to the difficulties inherent in conceptualizing the application and
measurement of the social dimension to sustainable development (Lapalme, 2003), as
well as a lack of independent measures of what constitutes a successful programme.
While an environmental report is often externally audited, the social aspects of
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sustainability reports are very rarely externally audited, and even when they are these
are often conducted by consultants who are paid by the company in other capacities as
well, so are not wholly independent. Companies must demonstrate that resources are
being used effectively and that community initiatives positively contribute to
sustainable development. An important aspect of this is the transparency of revenue
flows to the government, money and resources spent on CSR initiatives.
Government’s also need to be transparent about how revenues raised from mining
companies are used to improve the lives of those directly affected by the impacts of
mining. The key to accurate measurements is the collection of comprehensive
baseline data (which so very rarely exists in the remote regions where companies
operate) during the social audit process and maintain accurate records throughout the
life of the mine. This information must be made publicly available and be externally
and independently verified.
The accumulation of social capital
The highly mechanised nature of the mining industry means that companies cannot
guarantee employment for local communities so they need to find other means to ‘add
value’ to communities and set in motion a long-term multiplier effect, through their
CSR initiatives. Both case study companies recognise the importance of economic
diversification of local communities through their focus on alternative livelihood
projects. However several issues with such strategies have been raised by local and
international NGOs:
Some projects are unfeasible - there is a gap in livelihoods activities between
the beginning of mining in the early 1990s and the recent inception of
sustainable livelihoods projects, and not all of the projects are sustainable.
The benefits of sustainable livelihoods projects will be reaped later and the
communities need to be made aware of this and understand the long-term
nature of benefits.
Communities need to be supported by the government during the initial
difficult stages of setting up a sustainable livelihoods project e.g. provided
with interest free loans or micro-credit schemes for women. Working in co-
operatives will help share the load of initial difficulties.
Often women do not take part in these programmes - the empowerment of
women is crucial for the success of sustainable livelihoods projects.
“...anytime they [women] want to bring their message across the men tend to shut
them up, sit down, sat on them and then it killed their interest to attend the
community meetings. Then they were also saying that anytime they want to attend
community meetings their husbands ask them to be at home, prepare food
and…these are the reasons why they are not attending community gatherings”
(International NGO representative).
Auty (1998) notes that if national policy is effective, then local social capital is likely
to be accumulated – but it is rarely the case that national policy is coherent enough to
be very effective at the local level, and this is often superseded by the power and
influence of the company. In Ghana, the government depends on companies to
support sustainable livelihoods projects, but the company is not necessarily best
placed to develop agriculture projects for instance when their expertise is mining.
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These projects will need long-term support if they are to be successful, but the support
that companies can provide is finite; the question of what happens when the
companies leave has yet to be addressed.
NGOs in Ghana argue for community development to be integrated and coordinated
with local agencies such as district assemblies. Community projects should not just be
a direct response to community needs; rather it should be integrated into a
development plan so that genuine discussion of what is really needed takes place.
Collaboration between all stakeholders is very important i.e. government, companies,
international and local NGOs, communities.
Are mining companies’ best placed to contribute to community development?
It is arguable whether mining companies are best placed to decide what’s best for the
community, what will build social capital and what will deliver long-term sustainable
development. CSR schemes are designed to suit corporate objectives and align with
the business case very well, but this causes a scenario of dependency rather than
helping the community to help itself. The company needs to act in the best interest of
the community. CSR does not of itself solve the negative impacts of the mining
industry on the environment, society, economy and local and national governance.
Companies should not be put in the position where they take on a developmental role
that should be provided by the government – they should work in partnership with the
government and local agencies.
It’s not just the community that ends up depending on the community, governments
look to the companies for answers too. It is extremely difficult for communities to
effectively challenge companies if the government relies on companies to solve
developmental problems. Communities need to be educated on the laws and policies
concerning them, what their rights are and what they can do about infringements of
their rights. Depending on companies undermines the power of governments to act
and ultimately gives the company more power – a vicious circle. For example,
Company A stated there is a strong sense that the government and other agencies
believe that the company will take care of the communities and implement
development in the region.
“...but we always have to look at multinational companies coming to develop
our economy, it’s not solutions, it’s not development” (Local NGO
The problem of superficial and inadequate consultation processes must be addressed
if community development programmes are to deliver genuine sustainable
development. Consultation needs to begin before any mine development takes place,
not after the mine has begun operating, which is often the case. Consultation needs to
take place with all members of the community, not just those that the company gives
salience too. Particular attention must be paid to hearing the voices of women, who
tend to suffer the worst from the social and environmental impacts of mining, and
from dependency, but have the least power to rectify their situation. Gender
inequalities must be addressed if communities are to fairly benefit from mining.
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The World Bank’s Extractive Industry Review concluded that mining should go
ahead only if indigenous communities gave ‘free, prior and informed consent’ based
on sufficient information and no undue pressure or interference from mining
companies. However, due to subsequent pressure from the mining industry and
governments this was changed to ‘free, prior and informed consultation’. Given the
problems outlined with consultation processes as they exist, the revised statement will
have no real impact, and in effect lets mining companies off the hook.
The case study companies have different approaches to consultation Company A
takes an inclusive approach and recognises that previous consultations created or
exacerbated tension within and between communities. Company B has also improved
its consultation process, but does not recognise that their current approach still has the
potential to create problems by excluding sections of the community i.e. galamsey and
consulting with ‘key individuals’. In Ghana these ‘key individuals’ are often village
chiefs, and it has been suggested that working relationships between mining
companies and chiefs benefit individuals more than whole communities.
“That’s one thing about these areas is that most of the chiefs condone it and
team up with the mining companies…a bribe, you know money, the power of
money” (International NGO representative).
Companies must be careful how they define their community, and not exclude salient
groups just because they are difficult to deal with – this leads to conflict and
undermines the CSR efforts of the company. Close relations and open dialogue need
to be maintained at all times (not just when it suits the company, when they are
starting up or when they are launching a new scheme). Events such as accidents or
social conflict can change the nature of relationships or lead them to break-down.
Good communication helps deal with such situations better as they arise. The social
audit process must be improved and the effectiveness and sustainability of revenue
deployment must be measurable and transparent. Governments must take more
responsibility for regional development considering community needs at a macro as
well as micro level. A successful and sustainable corporate community involvement
strategy must:
Assess and address the basic rights and needs of the community.
Recompense any material losses.
Allow all members of community to participate effectively in decision making
Be fair and equitable in distribution of mining benefits and decisions made.
Contribute to a net benefit for social and economic capacity.
Contribute to long-term sustainable development.
Ensure that mining revenues are distributed locally and equitably and that
there is transparency in this process.
Not engender dependency.
“...there’s no sense in mining for mining sake if it’s going to bring such misery to
people...” (Local NGO representative).
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... For instance, while about 10% of the sustainability funds of mining companies are invested to address exit expenditure, there is no empirical evaluation, which matches the saved amounts with future social impact mitigation costs and financing commitments. Third, stakeholder issues involving speculative development and dependency create tensions between large-scale mining companies and local communities (Essah & Andrews, 2016;Jenkins & Obara, 2008). ...
... Dale, 2002), but later results in community resistance during subsequent phases of the extractive process. Additionally, local dependency appears to be both a cause and an effect of the social sustainability practices of large-scale mining companies in response to internal and external pressures (Jenkins & Obara, 2008; E. T. Lawson & Bentil, 2014;Petrova & Marinova, 2013). For instance, while local dependency affects the ability of stakeholders to demand accountability, it also hinders the willingness of corporate managers to effectively engage with local communities, which leads to a cycle of confrontations. ...
... mention mining companies embracing CSR practices in response to stakeholder pressure to address sustainability challenges. Additionally,Jenkins and Obara (2008) assert that CSR practices are a move towards greater social, environmental and economic sustainability in mining. As such, CSR as used in mining expresses the idea of triple-bottom line in the same way as sustainability or sustainable development. ...
Sustainability in mining has received much global attention in recent years from academics, policy makers, and industry leaders, and other players. However, scant attention has been paid to examining the sustainability practices of mining companies within developing countries in addressing the proximate and long-term social and environmental impacts of mining activities. To address this knowledge gap, this study examines how large-scale mining companies address their social and environmental impacts through their sustainability practices. This study is situated within an interpretivist paradigm and employs a qualitative research methodology based on multiple cases, drawing on data from interviews with six (6) managers of multinational mining companies operating in Ghana, and 12 key stakeholder groups. This thesis contains four empirical findings chapters. The first of these examines the sustainability practices of large-scale mining companies in addressing environmental impacts throughout mine lifecycle. The findings indicate that the environmental sustainability practices are determined by regulatory compliance and corporate environmental responsibility. Although the environmental sustainability practices are predicated on the requirements in relevant policies and legislation, the findings demonstrate that regulatory pressures drive large-scale mining companies to embrace beyond compliance initiatives based on perceived ethical obligations. The second findings chapter examines the barriers to environmental sustainability implementation in large-scale mining in Ghana. The findings demonstrate that both institutional and corporate challenges are hindering effective sustainability implementation. The third findings chapter investigates the sustainability practices of large-scale mining companies in addressing social impacts throughout mining development. The findings show that large-scale mining companies have embraced a broader scope of social sustainability implementation based on a changing institutional environment. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the findings indicate that mine managers address social sustainability challenges based on instrumental and normative considerations. The fourth and final findings chapter examines the drivers for and barriers to mining companies’ social sustainability practices by drawing on stakeholder theory and institutional theory. The findings suggest that regulatory evolution, institutional pressures, post-closure legacies, transparency and disclosures, and managerial cognition are key drivers for the social sustainability implementation of large-scale mining companies. On the contrary, the barriers to social sustainability implementation stem from institutional voids and divergent stakeholder interests. Thus, by doing a critical reflection of the findings, this study contributes to theory by offering a series of propositions and suggesting a holistic framework for social and environmental sustainability implementation. Regarding stakeholder theory, the findings show that Large-scale mining companies experience fewer pressures from local communities and activists because of their lack of proactive engagement on environmental sustainability issues. Drawing on institutional theory, the findings suggest that multiple and contradictory logics within various institutional arrangements undermine social and environmental sustainability implementation. Additionally, this study provides a frame of reference for practitioners including mining companies and mine managers, regulatory officials, policy makers, and mining pressures groups who are involved in social and environmental sustainability implementation. Future research may consider data sets from other empirical domains, which might uncover differences in the emerging framework for sustainability implementation
... Community development approaches of large-scale mining companies Based on case studies performed in Ghana it was noted that there is a risk that CSR strategies can lead to communities' dependency on companies. To reduce that risk, specific conditions need to be met (Jenkins and Obara, 2006). ...
... What's more, mining firms must have a planned tactic that fosters good relationships with host communities and engage them continuously, which in the long run will embrace and endowed the less privileged groups in the society (Kemp, 2010). In Ghana, Jenkins and Obara (2008) explored CSR in the mining sector with much focus on corporate community efforts and the issue of mining dependence nationwide, regional and community stages. They found out that the challenge for mining firms is to create CSR initiatives that retain goodwill for the business and highlight the community's long-term developmental concerns in a sustainable manner, without promoting a situation of over-reliance. ...
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This paper aims to explore the motivations and challenges of engaging host communities in CSR practices within the context of Newmont Ahafo Mines (NAM), a subsidiary of a Multinational Mining Enterprise (MNE) operating in Ghana’s mining sector. This paper draws insights from stakeholder theory and interviews conducted with internal stakeholders (management and employees) and stakeholders in host communities (traditional rulers and community members). The findings indicate that effective decision-making, gaining legitimacy, cost savings, management of risks, and accountability are some of the perceived motivations of NAM’s stakeholder engagement in CSR. Nonetheless, the most critical challenges to NAM in improving stakeholder engagement in CSR practices are the lack of community members’ support in CSR projects, communities’ high expectations of NAM on development projects and over-dependency on NAM on the part of host communities. Therefore, it is reasonable for MNEs in emerging economies to attune engagement practices to the host community’s context. This will enable CSR practices and policies to fully exploit the latent benefits of CSR in the mining sector.
... Thus, moving from needs arrived at by a single group to intentions or decisions arrived at by all the relevant stakeholders in the community is like moving from an input model of development to an empowerment model of development (Biney, 2009). The effectiveness of CSR, including ALPs, in mining has been questioned (Frynas, 2005), as well as the risk of communities' dependency on mining companies (Jenkins & Obara, 2006). Participation in ALPs, especially in the mining communities is low because of a number of other reasons, including fear of price insecurity of the products produced, and the citizenry were also not involved in designing, planning, managing and evaluating the ALPs. ...
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This paper explores the power of media in promoting lifelong learning in mobilising the citizenry against ‘galamsey’ activities in Ghana. ‘Galamsey’ connotes ‘an illegal process of gathering mineral resources, especially gold, and selling them’. It is an activity engaged in by young adults resulting in destroying water bodies and posing water-related challenges to the citizenry. This qualitative study sought to ascertain what informed practitioners in the media space to mount a sustained lifelong learning drive against ‘galamsey’ in Ghana. The study used in-depth interview and focus group discussions to collect data from 15 participants purposively selected. Six male and female participants also shared their experiences on the ‘galamsey’ menace and the fight against it. Their thought, views and insightful ideas lie at the heart of this study. It emerged that the ‘galamsey’ activities were complex and engaged in by both Ghanaians and foreigners using heavy earth moving machines destroying forest vegetation cover and water bodies. The players involved bribe their way for protection. This paper recommends that the Government of Ghana and media houses involved in the fight against ‘galamsey’ sustain the lifelong learning drive to save water bodies, arable lands, and forest vegetation cover in Ghana.
Mining companies have received considerable global criticism for their perceived poor social and environmental performance and failure to benefit communities in and around the areas in which they operate. Mining has been associated with negligence of the consequent impacts of its activities. However, evidence shows that the mining sector is increasingly implementing initiatives meant to address its social and environmental impacts. One of the ways in which mining companies attempt to address the social and environmental impacts of their activities is through corporate social investment (CSI). Using a diamond mining company in Botswana as a case study, this chapter argues that without a law mandating it, the effectiveness of CSI remains questionable. The involvement of the private sector in cultural heritage resource management (CHRM) in Botswana can lead to sustainable community development if it empowers communities to self-sustain and make efficient use of their heritage resources.
Multiple studies have concluded that natural products-related industries, such as mining and energy, are particularly vulnerable to environmental concerns. These industries therefore have an obligation to disclose their corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially information related to environmental issues. However, the findings from this study revealed that environmental information was the least disclosed information among annual and sustainability reports for 39 Indonesian listed mining companies between 2016 and 2017. Based on these findings, this study attempted to seek further of the reasoning behind the scarcity of environmental disclosures. Content analysis was applied to calculate the extent of information disclosed within reports. While companies were found to have conducted a substantive amount of CSR activities, environmental information was the least disclosed information. This was compared to other information, such as governance, economy and social disclosures. Further in-depth interviews with CSR-related functions of the company resulted in several insights. First, natural products-related companies faced difficulties in calculating environmental figures. Second, as one of the most highly-scrutinised industries, natural products-related companies feared the potential backlash from non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Third, all natural products-related companies are obliged to participate in in annual environmental rating evaluation by the Indonesian government, called PROPER. Therefore, information pertaining to the evaluation by PROPER are considered sufficient, and, as a result, companies are hesitant to disclose more information. The findings of this study could provide various insights into companiesCompanies’ practicePractices of CSR disclosuresDisclosureCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR)disclosure. While a substantial amount of existing studies have discussed topics related to the most disclosed sustainability information, this study focuses on the opposite. ScholarsScholars may find an added benefitBenefits by analysing both sides of the spectrum. Additionally, this study may also provide a better understanding on the increasing gap between the extent of reporting companies disclose, and their reality in practice.
Globally, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a complex issue, but even more so in a mineral rich, developing country such as South Africa. There are various interpretations, approaches and perceptions of CSR not only in different economic sectors, but also in different countries. These differences are obvious when comparing CSR in Westernised countries to the developing Global South. Given its large contribution to the country’s economy, this chapter will explore CSR in the South African mining sector, by giving a short historical overview of CSR. CSR in the South African mining industry will be discussed with special reference to the voluntary nature of CSR in South Africa, as well as the legislative frameworks and codes of conduct guiding CSR. Moreover, this chapter will provide an overview of the impact, or lack thereof, of CSR initiatives on South African mining communities. These mining adjacent communities experience numerous social, economic and environmental problems associated with mining activities, which will be highlighted. Lastly, the different stakeholders in the CSR and mining arena will be discussed, as well as their different roles in contributing to more successful CSR initiatives and sustainability interventions. This may assist in closing the gap between policy and practice regarding CSR in the mining sector, and also contribute to sustainable community development in these marginalised mining communities.
Companies working in the extractives sector have become increasingly adept at managing legal, financial and operating risk.
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Purpose-This paper has two purposes. First is to operationalise the concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and trust in the context of a developing country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Second purpose is to test in a disaggregated perspective the impact of each CSR dimension on trust. Design/methodology/approach-Data were collected from 264 customers of six banks and processed with exploratory, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equations using LISREL 9.1. Findings-CSR is found to have five dimensions: legal responsibility, social needs responsibility, product responsibility, environmental responsibility and employee responsibility; trust is found to be a three-dimensional construct: integrity, compassion and partnership. Each CSR dimension has a positive impact on customers' perception of trustworthiness. Research limitations/implications-Reliability of trust is not high enough, suggesting the need to deepen research in order to find a more adapted CSR scale for banks. The smallness of sample size might have influenced the robustness of our psychometric results. CSR and trust relationships might be analysed in a more enriched framework including service quality, reputation and banks' employee performance as moderating variables. This paper has measured the two concepts from the customers' perspective only. However, both CSR and trust are best understood in a stakeholder perspective. So, it might be insightful to extend future research in a stakeholder orientation perspective. Practical implications-Banks from developing countries are also concerned with CSR and should invest in it. Clearly, each dimension of CSR should receive enough importance if Congolese banks are to recover their customers' trust. The findings of the study also suggest that banks' customers are aware of the necessity for banks to comply with the country's legislation. Non-compliance can have severe influence on customers' trustworthiness to banks. Social implications-Financial institutions are generally evaluated through financial indicators. The findings suggest that banks customers and other stakeholders begin a shift towards requiring their banks to invest in social and environmental activities in order to improve their local milieu. These aspects are still very neglected, or adopted only as marketing strategies to improve image, without a true willingness to be socially responsive. CSR and trust: disaggregated relations The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: https Originality/value-The two concepts are measured in a context where they did not receive enough importance (developing country), hence providing new knowledge in the field. Further, a disaggregated approach allowed understanding the way each CSR dimension impacts trust, which had not been the case in previous research.
The international climate regulating environmental management in mining is rapidly evolving through the combined influences of the development of international guidelines, resolutions, protocols, treaties and conventions; the influences of the international lending and aid institutions who seek a consistent but constantly evolving standard of environmental performance from their clients; the legal precedents being developed in courts all over the world; and the activities of multinational countries who tend to rapidly upgrade technological performance through their international activities (particularly influencing developing countries). In this rapidly evolving regulatory environment, the more 'models' available to this international pool of resource materials that demonstrate practical, cost-effective and (most desirably) incentive based regulatory mechanisms, the better will be the eventual body of 'international standards' we will all have to work with. Australia can make a significant contribution to this process, however, it has only been on the margin of this dynamic, North American and European led process, up to this time. It is in the Australian minerals and energy industry's best interest to take an active part in the evolution and direction of this process.
Artisanal mining is to be viewed not only as an issue requiring mining expertise, but also as a socio-economic issue in the context of poverty, requiring multi-sectoral attention. This article traces global employment estimates in small-scale mining, outlining the extent and economic impact of small-scale mining in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. New approaches and developments are analyzed with special focus on the interrelated roles of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, lending institutions and the local communities. The flow of foreign capital, the creation of joint ventures, and the contribution of women are also discussed, as are strategies that have been implemented as well as recent developments including developments in the areas of health and safety.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) called for full recognition of the social pillar of sustainable development, including poverty, access and quality, and income-generating employment issues. Trade unions are exploring ways to integrate these priorities with changes to production and consumption patterns, environmental protection, and water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity (WEHAB) areas on sector-by-sector basis. The article after providing a perspective on social dimensions outlines some of the ways trade unions believe it can be implemented in retail sector.
Conflicts over natural resources are becoming more frequent due to increasing populations, the clash between different value systems, and the greater economic and environmental demands on finite resources. The dynamics of conflict are complex as a result of interacting factors related to the parties involved, the nature of the resource, and the stage of development of the conflict. Where people are denied access to resources or are continually marginalised from resource-planning processes, disputes may escalate to civil strife. While the underlying causes of conflict may be clear, there is an urgent need for practical methods to address and resolve conflict. Mechanisms are required to promote understanding and cooperation of an increasing number of stakeholders, especially if resources are to be sustained to support present and future generations. The International Model Forest Program is one example of a multi-stakeholder approach in conflict prevention and resolution at the landscape level of resource management.
Part 1: country size and efficiency constraints on resource-based industrialization harnessing mineral enclaves - export base, mineral boom and RBI literature. Part 2 Potential and actual RBI resource rent: the potential stimulus from resource processing in the base case - a large efficient developing country the country size constraint on RBI extent and external causes of RBI resource rent overstimation. Part 3 Implementation efficiency: political constraints on macro-economic efficieny - oil windfall deployment in the low absorbing countries macro-economic constraints on the high-absorbing oil-exporting countries micro-efficiency - firm performance in RBI micro efficiency - RBI sectoral performance. Part 4 RBI impact: the impact of RBI on economic growth and structural change RBI's spatial impact - the lagged economic stimulus. Part 5 Conclusion and policy implications: a model of RBI and some policy implications conclusions - RBI risk.
Increasing populations compounded by limited formal sector employment have made small-scale mining an important economic livelihood option for thousands of people in developing countries. Low barriers to entry, the principal economic characteristic of the sub-sector, will ensure that small mining operations will continue to provide a livelihood for numerous unskilled workers in rural areas, where few alternative job opportunities exist. In addition, with correct policies and strategies in place, the sector has the potential to generate more employment and foreign exchange earnings. The successful evolution of small-scale mining requires an enabling policy environment that recognizes its specific needs. In this paper small-scale mining in Zambia is discussed by tracing the impact of changing policies on this sector.
Notwithstanding its prolonged existence, little research has hitherto been undertaken to determine why illegal artisanal and small-scale mining is a widespread phenomenon in the developing world. This paper profiles the case of Ghana, where clandestine gold mining activity is now ubiquitous throughout many rural areas. Despite having passed a series of industry-specific laws and regulations, and implementing an array of support services under the guidance of Gesellschaft Technische Zusannebarbeit (GTZ) and the World Bank, the Ghanaian government is widely regarded as having failed in its attempts to regulate the sector and bring it into the public domain. Combining findings from the literature, indigenous reports and government documents, with feedback from interviews with key government personnel and miners, this paper attempts to explain why a disproportionate percentage of resident artisanal and small-scale gold miners continue to operate illegally. Marked improvements can only be achieved in-this area if the government prospects and demarcates land for small-scale gold miners; improves the quality of industry support services; and re-skills miners for work in other professions.
This paper examines the debate surrounding a recent decision made by the Ghanaian government to permit gold exploration – and potentially, mining – in ‘protected’ forest reserves. In 2001, four mining companies were awarded mineral exploration concessions in forested regions of the country, and have since put forward applications to mine for gold. Notwithstanding the sharp divide in opinion on the issue, the continued uncertainty surrounding the implications of the proposed activities makes further research on the ground imperative in the short term. Work aiming to elicit indigenous perspectives on the projects, as well as research that facilitates dialogue between and/or among stakeholder parties, should be prioritized.