sharing in governance of extractive industries

Reframing matter: Towards a material-discursive framework for Africa’s minerals

My recent article in the Journal of Extractive Industries and Society:

The article proposes a material-discursive framework to analyze materialities of minerals. The typology developed, frames potentialities according to their specific physical and chemical attributes and material-discursive practices. It highlights potential opportunities, limits and risks to broad-based minerals development strategies consistent with Africa’s agenda to structurally transform and diversify economies.

It argues that agency is not only entrenched and constructed by discourses and structures, but also by the specific materiality of minerals, and the socio-materially constituted practices that emerge from their intra-actions. It hypothesizes that the complex interplay of materialities of minerals and material-discursive practices shape development outcomes across extractive spaces and time.

I introduce ‘mineralscape’ as a representational concept to integrate the physical, chemical and social dimensions of minerals assets in ways that unpacks powerful material-discursive practices of the extractive sector. The article presents a typology for approaching mineral-led transformative linkages.

The tool developed, sheds specific light on construction minerals, an often-neglected subclass of minerals whose consumption however remains an important marker of structural transformation of local economies. The materiality of the ‘development minerals’ offers relatively stronger opportunities for developing broad-based linkages with local and national economies than often prioritized high value minerals.

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