MAC: Mines and Communities

Digging Deeper: A Minewatcher's bibliography

Published by MAC on 2001-05-01

Digging Deeper: a minewatcher’s bibliography

This bibliography concentrates on recent documentation which addresses major current issues in mining, and on older sources which have stood the test of time. Only a few titles are included from regular industry and NGO publications (Raw Materials Report, Clementine, AGID, MERN, Higher Values, Mining Environmental Management, etc) which are easily available.

A large number of environmental impact (including social) assessments are also potentially available, either from companies or their critics. None of these is listed here, although some critical studies of individual mine projects are included.

This paper was prepared by Roger Moody for Minewatch Asia Pacific and Down to Earth in December, 1999.

Key general books

Carolyn Marr Digging Deep, Down to Earth and Minewatch, special report no 2, 1993

Roger Moody The Gulliver File, Minewatch, WISE Glen Aplin, International Books, 1993

[the classic - never imitated, never bettered!]

MJ Books Mining and the Environment – The Berlin Guidelines, London 1992, reprinted 1995. [With the exception of various documents produced by the International Council for Metals and the Environment - not featured in this list - this book is so far the only serious attempt by the industry to address its endemic global "problems".]

Alyson Warhurst Environmental Degradation from Mining and Mineral Processing in Developing Countries: Corporate Responses and National Policies, Development Centre of the OECD, Paris 1994

The Dictionary of Earth Sciences, Claremont Books and Collins London 1995 [Admirably small pocket-size dictionary]

J Kourimsy TheIllustrated Encyclopedia of Minerals and Rocks, Aventinum, Prague 1997, reprinted 1991, London [Just what it says: with nearly 600 illustrations of virtually every conceivable mineral, many in colour]

Billiton and Non-Ferrous Metals/Billiton Handbook [Respectively very simple and concise, and lengthier, introductions to mining, metals and the industry, by one of the world's biggest mining companies.]

Craig Andrews Mineral Sector Technologies: Policy implications for Developing Countries, World Bank, 1997

R M Auty Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies: The Resource Curse Thesis, Routledge, London 1993

ECOSOC (Asia-Pacific) and UNDP Mineral Investment Conditions in Selected Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region, New York 1992

(Eds) Abdel-Fatau Musah and J 'Kayode Fayemi MERCENARIES: An African Security Dilemma, Centre for Democracy and Development and Pluto Press, London 2000 [Not just Africa - Papua New Guinea/Bougainville is documented too. The most up to date and probably the best publication yet on mercenaries and mining, among other things.]

Key documents

Minewatch Women and Mining information pack, London 1995

Minewatch Mining and Indigenous Peoples, Minewatch Briefing sheet no.12, London, March 1991

Milieudefensie (FOE-Netherlands) Taking Responsibility: Metal mining, people and the environment [general critique of mining industry with a dozen short case studies]

Control Risks Group No hiding place: Business and the politics of pressure, London,1997 [Much-quoted study which probably contributed more than any other single document to the recent "strategy" by natural resource companies to "engage" with critics. Not exclusively on mining, but does contain case study of Freeport/Rio Tinto]

UNEP Environmental Aspects of Selected Non-ferrous Metals (copper, nickel, lead, zinc and gold) Ore Mining: ATechnical Guide Technical Report Series No. 5

P Hughes The Effects of Mining on Island Development, UNDP regional workshop on environmental management and sustainable development in the South Pacific, 1988

BC Wild and Enviromental Mining Council of British Columbia Acid Mine Drainage: Mining and Water pollution Issues in BC, Vancouver 1998 [Very useful, well-illustrated, short general introduction]

Peter J Norton Engineered wetlands and AMD, Mining Environmental Management, London, Sept 1993

Mineral Policy Centre, Hazardous wastes from mining,1988

Heath et al Environmental impact of mining in tropical forest, Mining Environmental Management, September 1993

Moore and Luoma, "Mining's Hazardous Waste" in Clementine, Mineral Policy Center, Spring 1991

J Otto Global Changes in Mining Laws, Agreement and Tax Systems, Resources Policy 24(2), 1998:

MMAJ and Malaysian Chamber Of Mines, Proceedings of Workshop on New Mining Legislative Framework in Asian Countries, Kuala Lumpur, July 1997 [an update on some of the countries covered in the ECOSOC/UNDP volume mentioned under Books]

MJ et al Mining Legislative Frameworks in Asian Countries, MJ Books with UNRF for NRE, London 1998

Institution of Mining and Metallurgy Mining and the Environment 2: a reference list, London 1990 [Although now somewhat dated, comprises a good hardcopy list of largely technical papers]

R Auty Mining as a generator of wealth; potential conflicts and solutions, Resources Policy, 13(2) 1998 [Auty's "refined" summary of the effects, rather than causes, of the "resource curse" (see also under Books)

Alyson Warhurst "Mineral trade policies and agreements - environmental implications", Raw Materials Report vol. 11 no. 1, Stockholm 1995

WC and JC Lacy History of Mining and Metallurgy along the Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim Mining Congress, 1990

FT Survey Opencast Mining [Can scarred opencast sites become greener than they were before?] London 1990

Managing the environment through planning for closure, [conclusions of 6th workshop of the Mining and Environment Research Network, Harare, 1996] published in Raw Materials Report vol. 12, no. 2, Stockholm, 1996

AQUAMIN Assessment of the Aquatic Effects of Mining in Canada: Final Report , Mining Association of Canada, and Environment Canada, Ottawa 1996 [Result of a study commissioned in 1990 to determine whether existing regulations on toxic discharges from mining to water sources needed to be changed. There are various recommendations and tables of general interest]

G Davis Learning to love the Dutch Disease: Evidence from the Mineral Economies, World Development 23, 1995

ADS Gillies, Developments in Mining Resource Rent Taxation, Pacific Rim Mining Congress 1990

Louis J Sousa Towards a New Materials Paradigm, US Dept of Interior Bureau of Mines, "Mineral Issues", Washington DC, December 1992

Oliver Mapongo Renaissance of the African Minerals Industry: Challenges and Opportunities, TWN Accra, paper delivered to conference on Mining Development and Social Conflicts in Africa, November 1999

World Bank (et al) Mining and the Community - papers from a recent conference held in Papua New Guinea, and sponsored by the World Bank, PNG government, Rio Tinto, Placer Dome and WMC

Roger Moody Extractive Empires: paper presented to the Mining and Indigenous People Consultation membership 1996, Geneva 1997 [Detailed expose of all aspects of mine industry structure and minerals financing and marketing]

William S Pintz Ok Tedi: Evolution of a third world mining project, Mining Journal books, London 1984 [This well-written study relates as much to the intricate business of drawing up mining agreements and determining taxation policies, as to the mine itself]

Case studies: books (classified by mineral)


Ans Kolk Forests in International Environmental Politics: International Organisations, NGOs and the Brazilian Amazon, International Books, Utrecht, 1996. [Though not exclusively about mining, this contains an excellent summary of the catastrophic development of the world's biggest iron ore complex, Grande Carajas, and associated mines smelters and power plants. Especially good on World Bank and multilateral development agency complicity.]

Survival International and Friends of the Earth: Bound in Misery and Iron: the Impact of the Grande Carajas Programme on the Indians of Brazil, 1987


Chris N Gjording Conditions Not of Their Choosing: the Guaymi Indians and Mining Multinationals in Panama, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London, 1991 [Blow by blow account of growth of opposition by the Guaymi (Ngobe-Bugle) nation to Rio Tinto's early 1980's plan to mine the Cerro Colorado, and the qualified success they achieved]

Jorg Hettler and Bernd Lehmann Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Mining in Papua New Guinea: Mining Residue Disposal by the Ok Tedi Copper-Gold Mine, UNEP and FU-TU-TPR Berlin, 1995 [Particularly relevant in light of admission by BHP, operator of the Ok Tedi mine, that its impacts are virtually uncontainable.]

(Ed) Stuart Harris SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICE: the impact of uranium mining in the Northern Territory (Australia) Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, monograph 3, Canberra 1980 [While there have been other, later, studies of the impacts of one of the world's biggest single uranium mines, this clearly sets out the problems for Aboriginal communities, in accepting a vast mineral project, in an area of no previous mineral exploitation]


Ronald Graham: The Aluminium Industry and the Third World: Multinational Corporations and Underdevelopment, Zed Books, London 1982. [A classic history and never bettered despite considerable structural changes in the aluminium industry since it was published Only a few references to Indonesia]

International Development Action The Mapoon Books, 1978, Melbourne. [Three indispensable volumes which cover respectively the tale (in their own word) of the Mapoon and Weipa Aboriginal Peoples, forcibly removed from their territory in the 1960s, for the Rio Tinto (CRA) bauxite mine, which has ever since been the biggest bauxite strip mine on the planet; the nature and corporate structure of the world bauxite/aluminium industries in the seventies; and the environmental and social impacts of this sector. Although much of it is now outdated, the presentation of the issues has never been bettered.]


Gordon MacMillan At the End of the Rainbow? Gold, Land and People in the Brazilian Amazon, Earthscan, London 1995 [Gordon Macmillan - who worked with Minewatch in the preparation of this unique study - probably penetrated further than anyone before or since, into the nature of the garimpeiro (small scale gold miner) phenomenon, the distinction between genuinely poor peasant miners and syndicates connected to powerful political and commercial forces.]

Carla and Rosa, Golden Dreams, Poisoned Streams, Mineral Policy Center, Washington DC 1997


The following three volumes all relate to the activities of INCO and PT INCO:

Kathryn M. Robinson Stepchildren of Progress: the Political Economy of Development in an Indonesian Mining Town, University of New York Press, 1986 [concentrates on Soroako]

Jamie Swift and the Development Education Centre, The Big Nickel: Inco at Home and Abroad, Between the Lines, Kitchener Ontario, 1977

Mick Lowe Premature Bonanza: Standoff at Voisey’s Bay, Between the Lines, Toronto 1998 [Graphic account of Inco's conflicts with the Innu over their Voisey's Bay project in Labrador]

Case studies - books and documents (by region/country)

Jan Roberts Massacres to Mining: The colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, Dove Communications, Blackburn, Australia, 1981

Minewatch, Development by Invasion: Mining and Human Rights in Melanesia, Minewatch Briefing document no. 23, London 1994 [West Papua and Bougainville compared]

Starnberg Institute Environment and Development: Economic-Ecological Development in Papua New Guinea, Starnberg, 1991 [Famous study of the impacts of the Ok Tedi copper-gold mine which, though widely criticised at the time, has been largely borne out by recent studies]

G Lanning with M Mueller Africa Undermined: a history of mining companies and the underdevelopment of Africa, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1979

LAMMP La Mineria: Proceedings of the seminar: "Mining in Venezuela", London 1997

AQUAMIN Case studies (1996) for the major study cited under documents (general): Nanisivik lead-zinc mine, Lupin gold mine, East Kemptville tin mine, Heathe Steel mines, Hope Brook Gold mine, Kidd Creek Mines, Winston Lake mine, Sa Dena Hes mine, Bell Copper mine, Breda mine, Myra Falls Mine, Cominco Snip mine, Cluff Lake uranium mine, Hemlo area and Red Lake gold camp are all discussed

Atu Emberson-Bain Labour and gold in Fiji, Cambridge University Press, 1994 [Excellently documented history of struggle by Indigenous Fijians against the country's biggest industrial project - and the battle continues]

Richard M Auty Managing Mineral Dependence - Papua New Guinea 1972-89 [Useful summary of impacts of over-reliance on mineral extraction and exports by one of the world's leading authorities on this critical issue: see also other titles under General Documents and Books]

Thomas M Akabzaa BOOM AND DISLOCAT ION: A study of the Social and Environmental Impacts of Mining in the Wassa West District of Ghana, TWN Accra, 1999 [Well-researched, well argued critique of the causes of impoverishment and conflict caused by several largely overseas-owned companies in one of the world's key gold mining districts]

Bonnie Campbell, The role of multilateral and bilateral actors in shaping mining activities in Africa, paper presented to TWN conference on Mining Development and Social Conflicts in Africa, Accra, November 1999

Environmental Mining Council of BC on behalf of WWF Canada More precious than gold: mineral development and the protection of biological diversity in Canada, May 1998 [Another concise and useful document from the consistently capable EMCBC]

Sub-committee of the inter-governmental working group on the Minerals Industry Report on Native Participation in Mining, Canada 1990-1992 [The study which launched the Whitehorse Initiative: a blueprint for what not to do, as much as anything else]

Stuart McGill and Greg Crough Indigenous Resource Rights and Mining Companies in North America and Australia, Report prepared for Dept of Aboriginal Affairs, Canberra 1986

R Richins and R Kraus "Coeur d'Alene Leads" and "Homestake's success": two case studies of "responsible" mine management in the USA, from Clementine, Mineral Policy Center, Washington DC, Winter 1991 and Winter 1989

Case studies (corporate)

Richard West River of Tears: the rise of the Rio Tinto-Zinc Corporation Ltd, Earth Island Ltd, London 1972

PLUNDER! - the story of Rio Tinto Zinc, Partizans, London 1992

Greg Dropkin and David Clark PAST EXPOSURE: Revealing health and environmental risks of Rossing uranium, NSC and Partizans, London 1992

Paul Wilson Black Death, White Hands Allen and Unwin, Sydney and London, 1982 [Devastating account of the effects of forced removals and mining - by CRA/Rio Tinto - on Aboriginal young people in the Weipa region of north Queensland]

Patrick Gorman Weipa: where Australian Unions drew their "line in the sand" with CRA: the story of how 75 workers defeated the world's most powerful minig company's campaign to crush the unions, CFMEU, Melbourne1996

R Moody "Mining the World: the global reach of Rio Tinto", Ecologist vol. 26 no. 2, 1997

Partizans RTZ Uncovered, the alternative annual report, London 1985

Partizans, DiRTy BiZness, Partizans Alternative Report, London 1986

ICME and others Rio Tinto Tainted Titan: the stakeholders report 1997, Brussels 1998

ICME Rio Tinto Behind the facade: 1998 Stakeholders Report, ICME Brussels 1999.

Project Underground Risky Business: The Grasberg Gold Mine: an independent annual report, San Fransisco 1998

Starnberg Institute Environment and Development: Economic-Ecological Development in Papua New Guinea, Starnberg, 1991 [Famous study of the impacts of the Ok Tedi copper-gold mine which, though criticised at the time, has been largely borne out by recent studies]

Mineral Policy Institute Corporate report on BHP, Melbourne 1998

Mineral Policy Institute Corporate Report on Western Mining Corporation, Melbourne 1997

WMC in the Philippines, Australia 1998

Pallister, Stewart and Lepper South Africa Inc: The Oppenheimer Empire, revised and updated edition, Corgi Books, London 1988 [Good introduction to Anglo-De Beers]

Edward Greer Big Steel: Black Politics and Corporate Power in Gary, Indiana, Monthly Review Press, New York and London, 1979 [Highly engaging account of workers' struggle against the massive US iron mining/steel manufacturer US Steel]

R Jackson Ok Tedi: the pot of gold, University of Papua New Guinea, 1982

Case studies: books and documents (classified by mineral)


Preliminary Report on Red Mud Pollution Problem at Gove, NT, consultancy report for the Northern Land Council, Australia, 1975


Minewatch Gold Pack, London 1994 [Package of articles related to gold mining, with commentary]

Panos Institute The Lure of Gold, London 1996 [Often-quoted background briefing on the gold industry in the mid-nineties]

D Valle, Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining in the Podocarpus National Park in Southern Ecuador, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, September 1992 [Based on interviews with small-scale miners - "petroleros" - on problems associated specifically with mercury use.]

CRC/MCDC/Task Force against Open Pit Mining Special Report on the Antamok Gold Project, Baguio 1991 [Well researched and documented warning against a large-scale gold mine in Benguet province, in the Philippine Cordillera, some of whose predictions have come true]

Project Underground Gold, Greed and Genocide, San Francisco 1998

The Garimpeiros of Brazil, Mining Survey No.1, South Africa Chamber of Mines 1990

Lesli O'Dowd Gold Mining and the Irish environment, Earthwatch Special Report, Bantry 1990


Icef (now ICME) Asbestos: politics and economics of a Lethal Product Geneva, 1985 [Good concise trade union-sponsored study, albeit dated in terms of recent court cases and industry response]


Trans Tech publications, Braunkohle: Surface Mining, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, 3/99 [Recent publication in industry series concentrating on technology and - to a much lesser extent - impacts of surface mining, primarily coal. Glossy with good illustrations]

Labour Research Department, The Hazards of Coal Mining, London, 1989 [Useful, if simple, summary booklet, primarily addressing problems in underground British mines]

Green Brigades, Poland After the Harm is Done and Untitled Document [Two short , interesting discussion papers on the damage caused by coal mining in one of the world's biggest producing countries]

Friends of the Earth USA Undermined: High-tech coal mining shatters lives and land, vol. 21 no. 1, winter 1991


Minewatch Asia Pacific The Cement Pack, London 1999 [Briefing on the current state of the cement industry with articles covering Philippines, Indonesia, India et al]


Wilma Berends, Bertram Zagema and Teo Wams While stocks last: a case for sustainable resource management, Milieudefensie, Amsterdam, 1996

Jorg Hettler and Bernd Lehmann Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Mining in Papua New Guinea: Mining Residue Disposal by the Ok Tedi Copper-Gold Mine, UNEP and FU-TU-TPR Berlin, 1995 [Particularly relevant in light of admission by BHP, operator of the Ok Tedi mine, that its impacts are virtually uncontainable.]


Ligia Noronha "Ecological management in a [iron ore] mine in Goa, India - a case study of afforestation", Geoscience and Development no. 2 May 1995 ["Afforestation in its crudest form....allows the company to comply with regulations, keep the environmental lobby pacified and get away with the minimum by way of reclamation"]

D Costa et al "Production of free radicals arising from the surface activity of minerals and oxygen, part one Iron Mine Ores", Toxicology and Industrial Health, vol. 5 no. 6, Paris 1989 [Technical paper addressing important problems associated with inhalation of dusts in iron ore mining]

Jewellery (other than gold)

Women's Environmental Network, Jewellery, Women and the Environment [Simple, four page summary, which covers gold, coral and turtleshell]

V G Venturini: The diamond cartel, unpublished thesis, Australia 1985

Mineral Sands (ilmenite, rutile)

Sullay Kamara Mined Out: The Environmental and Social Implications of Development Finance to Rutile Mining in Sierra Leone, Friends of the Earth Trust, London, 1997 [Shows that Sierra Leonean farmers and families have become worse off, thanks to the operations of the world's biggest rutile mine, and pinpoints the agencies responsible, including World Bank/IFC and CARE]


FJ Dupon The effects of mining on the environment of high islands: a case study of nickel mining in New Caledonia, Environmental Case Studies: South Pacific Study no. 1 SPREP, Noumea, 1986


FJ Dupon Pacific phosphate island mining versus the mining industry: an unequal struggle, Environmental Case studies: SP Study no 4,SPREP, Noumea, 1989


[NB: Minewatch Asia Pacific/Nostromo Research has a large library of documentation on the uranium industry, from the 1970's onwards. The following is a selection of the more basic or interesting papers]

Honicker versus Hendrie: a lawsuit to end atomic power, Book Publishing Co, Summertown TN, 1978 [One of the first lawsuits related to mine destructiveness: well put together and argued though it never got anywhere]

Jeffrey Davidson Mining the Middle Ground: a Reassessment of Uranium and Coal Development Policy on the Reservations, Dept of Mining Engineering, Butte, Montana, 1983 [Jeffrey Davidson is the founder of Small Mining International, and this early paper argues the virtues of small and medium-scale mining on Indigenous territory, in preference to large-scale energy-resource projects]

Political Ecology Research Group, The Environmental Impact of a Projected Uranium Development in County Donegal, Ireland, No date (early 1980s) [Dispassionate, well-researched and fairly comprehensive generic study which includes some US case studies]

Peter Diehl Uranium Mining Wastes: An Overview, WISE Amsterdam, date not known

S J Thornton Dutch Nuclear Power and the Environmental Implications of Uranium Mining and Milling – An Analysis of the Framework of Energy Policy Formulation [Paper contributed to the Dutch government appraisal of nuclear power, which broadly came out against its use]

Uranium - the plain facts, ANC Working Group and SCRAM, London (no date)

Weissberg and Mendes "Preliminary geophysical study of interactions between tailings and the hydrologic cycle at a uranium mine in Caldas, Brazil", Geoscience and Development, no. 4/5 1997

Operation Action UP, Uranium Mining and Radiation Safety: proceedings of a conference, Michigan, 1979

Miles Goldstick Voices from Wollaston Lake: Resistance against Uranium Mining and Genocide in Northern Saskatchewan, Earth Embassy, WISE, Vancouver 1987


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