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Peter G. Veit and Catherine Easton of the World Resources Institute report on an in-depth study on an industry not known for its transparency and environmental soundness. Their policy brief published here features Canadas extractive industry, the worlds leading mineral country, accounting for well over a third of the share of global mineral exploration spending. Yet an unsettling disparity in financial disclosure exists in Canadas mining sectorespecially over payments to foreign governments. This raises much concern considering much of recent global mineral exploration and permitting is occurring in less affluent nations with weak governance to say the least. For example, mining concessions show an alarming overlap with high conservation value areas in the Congo Basin.

The importance of socio-economic and environmental responsibility in mining cannot be overstated, and there are apparent double standards on how companies approach these responsibilities in their home countries versus host countries. As a leader in the sector, Canada is facing increasing calls for more significant engagement of corporates social responsibility standards such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Creuseurs at Gecamines, Kolwezi

Creuseurs at Gecamines, Kolwezi. Photo Bas van Abel / Waag Society-Fairphone / Flickr