sharing in governance of extractive industries
Mining is on the verge of a wave of changes like those that have swept over and redefined manufacturing, communications, finance, and other technology-transformed sectors. While this is good news in terms of productivity, worker safety, environmental impacts and other metrics, some types of technology will replace significant numbers of low- and medium-skilled workers, and many of the new jobs created will be difficult for locals to fill.
What will these changes mean for the complex relationship between mining operations, host communities, and host governments? We know that changing technologies are changing the status quo, but can we anticipate how it should change? This is the theme of our New Tech, New Deal dialogues, presented by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and Mining Shared Value (MSV), in partnership with the GOXI platform of the World Bank.
Over the next several weeks, our panel of experts will explore the relationship between mining companies and the communities who rely heavily on the social and economic benefits created by direct employment and employment-related procurement. We’ll dive into four key themes in turn, probing the strengths and weaknesses of different policy options and arrangements.
There are so many questions I hope we’ll address. Are we looking at a net loss of jobs? What kinds of new jobs will be created? Is skills training the answer? More local procurement? Higher taxes on mining activities? Should governments and mining companies negotiate new forms of contributions, like shared infrastructure, community development funds, increased beneficiation? What will be the impacts of new tech on women in the mining workforce? All of these questions have very different answers, of course, in different specific locations.
Our discussions here on GOXI will feed into the longer-term New Tech, New Deal project and, in particular, will inform an in-person round table to be held in Paris in late June focusing on these same issues, in effect enlarging the table to bring in a wider array of voices.
I’m excited to bring the experience and collective wisdom of the GOXI community to bear on these critical and under-explored questions. These issues demand group thinking. I hope you’ll weigh in with your thoughts over the coming weeks, helping us kickstart a discussion that is ever more urgent.
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