Conflict management in the extractive industries: A comparison of four mining projects in Latin America

Yanina Kowszyk, Frank Vanclay, Rajiv Maher*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

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Increasing global demand for minerals has led to increasing socio-environmental conflicts in the mining sector. To understand why mining company managers (especially those in the areas of community relations, corporate affairs, social performance, and corporate social responsibility) fail to adequately manage conflict, we examined the conflict management approaches used by managers of large mining operations in Latin America. We interviewed a few managers per mine and analysed secondary data relating to the conflicts associated with the Nueva Unión (Chile), Peñasquito (Mexico), Vazante (Brazil), and Yanacocha (Peru) mines. We found that the conflict management style being used did not incorporate understandings from political ecology or environmental justice. We consider these perspectives could improve conflict management in the extractive industries, which would reduce the environmental and social impacts experienced by host communities, the cost of conflict borne by companies and communities, and would increase the social licence to operate of companies and their operations. We discuss various key issues including: worldviews and ontological differences; the distribution of costs and benefits from the extractive industries; power imbalance; corporate structure and strategy towards community and environmental issues; and the adequacy of the response of the national and international social justice systems.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftExtractive Industries and Society
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 28-sep.-2022

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