Is mining a development industry?

“The correct question is probably not “is mining a development industry”, but “how to maximise mining’s contribution to development?”

Phil Vernon's blog

In an earlier post I wrote about how mining companies have evolved to take into account the needs of their host communities. I suggested ways they can broaden the application of their “social programmes” to understand, embrace and contribute to development at a higher, societal level than simply serving some of the expressed needs of the local or host community.

Having just returned from spending a week discussing related issues with staff of one of the large and relatively enlightened international miners, I’d now go further. One of the questions we discussed was whether the mining industry needs to re-label itself as a “development industry”.

While this was a controversial idea for some people, who saw it as suggesting a dangerous drift beyond their core business, for me it’s a no-brainer. Indeed, I’d go as far as to say that mining already does see itself as a development industry. A glance…

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