MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Introduction for the Workers feature

Since this website's inception in May 2001, our editorial board has paid special attention to the demands and aspirations of mine labour forces around the world.

These objectives sometimes conflict with those of other civil society groups. For example, villagers, fighting construction of a mine they fear will contaminate their water supply, may find themselves ranked against other villagers, seeking employment at the same project.

How to resolve such differences? We should recognise that hundreds of thousands of those employed in the mining industry are integral members of local communities. Upholding their rights is just as important as observing those of farmers, fisherfolk, and other resource custodians.

And, increasingly, these groups are making common cause in fighting what they see as abusive mining.

Notable among these joint campaigns has been the 15-year old collaboration between a broad array of indigenous and other activists and trade union organisations, to call Rio Tinto to account. Nor is this the only initiative of its kind.

Below, you will find links to articles covering this theme.

In addition, you can access key statements made by official trade unions (See "Organised Labour"); and others addressing the hazards and difficulties that mineworkers confront (See "Health and Safety").

The recruitment of children (usually, but not always, defined as those of 14 and under) in one of the most dangerous industrial sectors is now widely condemned.

Nonetheless, their engagement in digging, carrying and storing mined materials is considered indispensable to many poor families in South East Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America.

Youngsters typically work alongside their elders (in particular women) in small bands, sub-contracted to "middlemen", and where exploitation is rife. (See also the "Women" page on this website).

Women and young people also count heavily among teams of small scale, or artisanal, mineworkers, whose methods of organisation and working conditions widely vary.

Due to the importance of this specific sector for many communities, further discussion of this controversial ssue can be found on the "Small scale mining" page.

Workers

Organised Labour

2021-08-28 Sexual harassment in mine camps, reports
2021-06-14 Peru Elections: The people does not want 'more money'
2021-05-25 An endless war on the Central Appalachian Mountains
2021-05-22 Shukruti residents protest Georgian Manganese
2021-05-03 Ross Beaty: Thank you now f*ck off
2021-05-01 Chilean copper workers blocked from pension withdrawals
2021-04-13 Coalmine accident traps 21 workers in China’s Xinjiang
2021-02-05 Nornickel to pay €1.62 billion for Arctic oil spill
2020-12-26 Ukrainian uranium disputes
2020-11-12 Argentina: Covid-19 outbreak hits Cerro Vanguardia and San José workers
2020-11-06 Coal criminal is running for US White House!
2020-10-10 Black Lung and COVID-19: A disaster in slow motion
2020-04-06 Rio Tinto goes ahead with an AGM shorn of crucial input
2020-02-20 Quebec's asbestos-created agonies
2020-02-18 New Zealand: Broadcaster blasts "crazy" Rio Tinto
2020-02-14 The End-of-Week Essay: Calling Rio Tinto's New Zealand Bluff
2020-02-06 Vale's Schvartsman faces 270 homicide charges
2020-02-04 Pakistan's Coal Miners suffer appalling fatalities
2019-08-28 Anglo American might face lead poisoning law suit
2019-08-21 The Midweek Essay: How Glencore manipulates in DRC

view 327 more articles about Organised Labour


Child Labour

2020-11-30 Swiss responsible business initiative wins a majority, but will not be implemented
2019-11-29 The Weekend Essay: How children are sacrificed to mica mining
2019-11-12 When "dumping" has a dubious double meaning
2019-10-14 Conflict-free minerals - are they a pantomime?
2019-07-23 DR Congo sends troops to intimidate and remove small miners
2019-07-02 DRC: 'Poverty-driven' artisanal mining in spotlight after tragedy hits Congo
2019-04-29 LME to ban metal tainted by child labor or corruption
2019-03-28 World's biggest banks won't divulge clients infringements of rights
2019-03-25 Amnesty launches major campaign on lithium
2019-01-26 Zambia: Three children die in manganese mine disater
2018-01-23 Indian Child Miners: Jharkhand's Dark Secret
2018-01-19 Indian children die to provide silver linings for the West
2018-01-02 India: Mining children are "nobody's baby" claims MM&P
2016-12-31 Philippines: New policies but will they be implemented?
2016-07-31 The struggle to source child labour-free mica
2016-04-13 Organized crime and illegally mined gold in Latin America
2016-01-19 Children as young as seven mining cobalt used in smartphones
2015-12-03 Philippines: A climate of fear and destruction
2015-06-30 Philippines: Glencore quits the Tampakan Project
2015-06-13 Ghana urged to end child labour in gold mines

view 51 more articles about Child Labour


Health and Safety

2021-09-15 USA: Federal jury awards Pomona $48 million in damages from SQM
2021-09-12 USA: 9/11 First responders exposure to asbestos, lead and other toxic materials did not end
2021-08-28 Sexual harassment in mine camps, reports
2021-08-26 Mexico: Fresnillo's drumbeats of death
2021-08-24 Deep Sea: Readings from the Abyss
2021-08-08 Australia: Tesla 13 tonne lithium battery fire fuels concerns
2021-08-04 Canada: Wildfires shut down Teck Resources copper mine
2021-07-10 Canada: Cameco evacuated Cigar Lake uranium mine due to wildfires
2021-07-03 USA: Thousands displaced by lithium fire in Illinois
2021-06-28 UK's National Health Service calls for ban on neodymium toys
2021-06-27 India’s Deep Ocean Mission: A race to the bottom
2021-06-19 Ireland: Kildare residents fear lithium battery storage compound
2021-06-17 Australia: The mine that has spewed acid for decades
2021-06-15 Umicore pledges to 'green buffer' after lead spike in Hoboken, Belgium
2021-06-12 The dangers of button batteries
2021-06-11 USA: Family sues battery recycler Gopher Resource
2021-06-09 USA: The fight to clean up Exide battery plant in California
2021-06-08 India: Amara Raja battery plants ordered to shut down over pollution charges
2021-05-31 Cominak uranium mine closes in Niger
2021-05-30 South Africa: RBM mining executive gunned down in KwaZulu-Natal

view 1484 more articles about Health and Safety


Workers Theme

2021-09-12 USA: 9/11 First responders exposure to asbestos, lead and other toxic materials did not end
2021-08-28 Sexual harassment in mine camps, reports
2021-08-04 Canada: Wildfires shut down Teck Resources copper mine
2021-07-10 Canada: Cameco evacuated Cigar Lake uranium mine due to wildfires
2021-06-29 Australia: The battles for Tasmania’s Tarkine rainforest
2021-06-14 Peru Elections: The people does not want 'more money'
2021-06-11 USA: Family sues battery recycler Gopher Resource
2021-06-09 USA: The fight to clean up Exide battery plant in California
2021-06-08 India: Amara Raja battery plants ordered to shut down over pollution charges
2021-05-27 The impacts of illegal mining for women in Brazil
2021-05-22 Shukruti residents protest Georgian Manganese
2021-05-14 Kyrgyzstan: Court hands $3.1 billion fine to Kumtor Gold
2021-05-05 Poland's border coalmine startles Europe
2021-04-17 USA: Wyoming to sue states for their energy policies?
2021-04-15 Serbia: Thousands demand government action to stop mining pollution
2021-04-08 Will there ever be remedy for Welsh coal mining past?
2021-03-30 Brazil: Civic groups urge Vale to halt production amid Covid-19 spike
2021-03-25 12th Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration: We refuse to be muted!
2021-03-24 Stained Ball? Mining billionaire to run African soccer
2021-03-11 All the world's at C - Part Two

view 472 more articles about Workers Theme


Covid-19

2021-06-15 Umicore pledges to 'green buffer' after lead spike in Hoboken, Belgium
2021-05-27 The impacts of illegal mining for women in Brazil
2021-05-26 The right to breathe in South Africa's coal places
2021-05-25 An endless war on the Central Appalachian Mountains
2021-05-24 Fujimori kleptocracy embraces more copper mining in Peru
2021-05-20 Deep Sea Mining corporate spin doctors
2021-05-07 Liberty Mutual drops Queensland coal mine project
2021-05-01 Chilean copper workers blocked from pension withdrawals
2021-04-27 Philippine church leaders, environmentalists against government removal of mining ban
2021-04-26 Indonesia declassifies coal power plants ash as hazardous waste
2021-04-18 Philippines lifts ban on new mines
2021-04-15 Argentina: Yamana Gold and Andalgala - A dubious integration
2021-04-15 Serbia: Thousands demand government action to stop mining pollution
2021-04-10 Environmental regulation and the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada, report
2021-04-05 Is covid-19 shutting down LME face-to-face trading ring for good?
2021-03-30 Brazil: Civic groups urge Vale to halt production amid Covid-19 spike
2021-03-25 12th Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration: We refuse to be muted!
2021-03-11 All the world's at C - Part Two
2021-02-04 Uranium mining and COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation
2021-01-20 Greenland: Public hearings under coronavirus constraints

view 99 more articles about Covid-19



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