State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability
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State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability

Tracy-Lynn Field

States in mineral-rich jurisdictions must promote mining as a development industry just as they must protect people and environment from the worst excesses of extractivism. State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability explores how the State’s role in facilitating a developmental and sustainable mining industry has been defined. In doing so, this astute book considers the impact of the policies and laws of mineral-rich States themselves, multilateral international governance institutions, industry associations, and environmental justice advocates in the areas of property relations, mineral taxation, environmental management and mine closure.
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Chapter 2: The State, mining, development and sustainability: pro-mining discourses

Tracy-Lynn Field


There are a variety of discourses on mining, development, sustainability and the role of the State that have crystallized since the early 1970s. Discourses reflect how we understand the world, but also reconstitute that world, reproducing perceptions of persons, social relations, action and interaction and our grasp of the material world in a particular way. This chapter presents the emergence and key claims of four ‘pro-mining’ discourses: the sustainable mineral development consensus; responsible mining; neoextractivism; and critical and strategic minerals. Pro-mining discourses assume a robust, positive connection between progress, development, economic growth and the promotion of the mineral extractives industry. International financial institutions, the mining industry and States themselves have defined varying roles for the State to promote a developmental and sustainable mining industry. Pro-mining discourses acknowledge a protective role for the State, but tend to underplay mining’s social and environmental impacts.

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