Chinese Extractive Industry in Latin America Today: An Update

In 2015, I wrote “Chinese Investment in Latin American Extractive Industry: The Costs and Benefits of Chinese Mining FDI on Latin American Economies, Politics, and Environments” for a Chinese political economy class.  Earlier this year, I shared a shortened (from 17 pages to 700 words) version here.  Now I feel the time is ripe for an update: the conversation has changed, the numbers are different, and it is worth revisiting, two years out, how the exchange has helped and harmed Chinese and Latin American interests.[1]

This paper will tread the same path as the original: section one is an introduction to trends in the industries and in Latin America and China. The next section discusses the stakeholders.  The last section will revisit the benefits and costs of Chinese extractive industry in Latin America, supplementing and assessing the original evaluation.

In 2017’s political and industrial climate, China has the opportunity to lead, in extractive industry through modernized practices and standards, and in international governance.  Latin America, on the other hand, will be a case study for many of the debates nations around the world grapple with: between foreign investment and local empowerment, national government and local consequences, international opinion and national choice, water and money, indigenous rights and land ownership, legal and illegal protest, and half a dozen other issues fueled and complicated by foreign mining industry.

Trends

The global mining industry has been in recovery mode from a rough 2015.[3]  However, 11 Chinese companies in mining’s top 40 were asset buyers 2016 in a year of debt dumping, driven by their different goals and patient capital, fueled by high valuations.

According to the 2017 PwC mining report, Peru, Mexico, and Chile all take a 6% share of global mining exploration, while Brazil takes 4% and other Latin American countries cumulatively take 6%.  China itself stands at 6%.  While most companies are scaling back, China Moly budgeted another $14.5 million for exploration in 2016.[4]

China’s investment in extractive industry in Latin America illustrates the strength of China’s economic, diplomatic, and even diasporic reach, and the extensive implications it may have for Latin America and the world.  Latin America and the Caribbean, topped by Brazil, Peru, and Argentina, receives almost 11% of Chinese FDI.  57.53% of Chinese Latin American investments are in energy, and commodities make up 75% of Latin American exports to China.[5] Ecuador’s mining industry alone is expected to jump from $1.1 billion to $7.9 billion in the next four years.[6]

However, local resistance to mining projects has been meet with international approval.  It played a role in the stalling, and eventually halting, the Peru Conga project, for which Máxima Acuña de Chaupe was awarded Goldman Environmental Prize for “grassroots environmental heroes.”[7]  This March, El Salvador banned metal mining after activists, including international Church leaders, argued against continued water pollution.[8]

Despite resistance, miners and Latin American politicians are still on the look-out for new projects and investment.  In a September interview, Mario Capello, Argentine sub secretary for mining development, said that Shandong was one of the 32 new companies that have knocked on their door in 2017.[9]

The Conversation

The actions of Chinese corporations reflect the national goals and interests of the Chinese government.  For example, MMG has a 15-year contract with the international Seabed Authority to explore ocean off the coast of central America for polymetallic nodules.[10]  In a Mexican auction last year, China’s Offshore Oil Corporation (CNNOC) bought two of 10 Gulf of Mexico deepwater oil and gas blocks.[11]

These deals are part of a greater Chinese interest in sea-floor extraction to supply the massive domestic demand for minerals and metals.[12]  Deep-sea extraction, and projects like an undersea lab for mineral hunting, is just one part of a greater “three deep” strategy promised by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources: “deep-underground, deep-sky and deep-sea,” which will undoubtedly play a role in Chinese foreign policy, and potentially diplomatic conflicts, going forward.[13] The business has been spurred on by active efforts on the parts of politicians on both sides of the Pacific.

However, what the courts say and what the politicians say in Latin America isn’t always the same.  For example, while Brazilian President Temer may remove a reserves’ protected status, authorizing the opening of 30% of the Renca reserve to mining, public criticism can lead to a revision.  The federal court can, and did, suspend it entirely, causing the government to abandon the effort. The force of the international conservation community was on the side of preservation.[14]

That doesn’t necessarily get in the way of deals with extractive industry, however.  Reflecting on the opening of Mexico’s energy sector to foreign investment, ICIS China energy research director Li Li said, “…foreign companies, including the Chinese State-owned companies like [CNOOC] will have more development opportunities and a more comprehensive strategic layout in South America through the bidding.”  In turn, the Mexican energy secretary said that Mexico was “delighted” by the Chinese winning bids on the deepwater blocks, and that they would “boost the two nations’ economic ties.”[15]

This year President Nieto visited both China and the BRICS conference to “discuss trade and investment”- during the same week as negotiators meet in Mexico to discuss revamping NAFTA.[16] Trade between China and Latin America increased by half a billion dollars 2015 to 2016.  In the space opened up by American isolationist rhetoric, there is certainly room for China to take a more active role in the region and in international governance.[17]

Evidence suggests that Latin Americans see the potential, but also the risks, of mining in their home countries.  Earlier this year, the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) stakeholder survey interviewed academic, media, trade association, and NGO members, including 127 (16%) Latin American respondents.[18]  Among all the regions, Latin Americans were most often “very familiar” with the mining industry (75%).

When asked about their views of mining, 43% of Latin Americans called it a “significant economic actor with impacts that can be minimized and/or mitigated,” the most popular answer for the region.  Of the 6 regions, Latin America was fourth most likely to see mining industry as high value to society, and second in saying it is low value.  Still, 78% saw high benefits from the industry, and their reasoning seems in line with their concerns:  water usage (31%), governance/regulations (26%), environmental concerns (24%), social concerns/legacy issues/public image (22%), and community engagement (17%).  Latin American stakeholders were the only ones unconcerned about price volatility.  When talking about the benefits of the industry, Latin Americans were most likely to point to contributions to the host’s national economy and providing products and infrastructure.  On the other end, their bottom three areas were mine reclamation, supporting charities, and sustainable development of local agriculture near the mines, reflecting their concerns about water and the environment, as well as the mines’ legacy.

Protests against extractive industry in Latin America have been frequent and sometimes effective. According to the Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America, in 2014 the countries with the most active mining disputes were Mexico, Peru, and Chile, with around 35 each, followed by Argentina with 26.[20]  They focus on issues from clean water to indigenous rights.[21]  They are not just picket lines and slogans: they can be dangerous for the activists, or even bystanders, involved.  In 2016, 61 Brazilian land rights activists were killed.[22]  The same year, Nelson Garcia, an indigenous advocate in Honduras, was murdered.  His and others’ deaths may be part of a greater trend of harassment and criminal behavior coming over land investment.[23]  And last October, a 42-year-old Peruvian farmer was killed by police during a protest of the heavy traffic, noise, and dust from trucks in and out of Las Bambas, a copper mine owned by Australian-Chinese MMG Limited.  Three others were killed the year before.[24]

The Catholic Church has played a role in resisting big mining projects around Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Churches and Mining Network brings together church leaders from 15 countries looking for mega-mining alternatives.[25]  Rooted in the spirit of Christian stewardship, the network, with representatives from 18 countries, meet with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace during the summer of 2015.  The pope wrote to them: “The entire mining sector is undoubtedly required to effect a radical paradigm shift to improve the situation in many countries.”[26]  A year later, the group participated in another meeting with the Pope, and put out another letter, listing examples of fruitless protest and environmental damage at the hands of mining companies.[27]

It isn’t only the Latin American Church objecting to mining companies’ tactics. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a letter to the prime minister seeking more regulation for Canadian mining companies abroad, especially Latin America. “We have heard,” they said, “stories of how threats, violence, extortion and even murder have been used to advance the progress of big business and industry to the detriment—both human and economic—of the poor.”[28] The Pope himself, in his encyclical letter “Laudato Si:  On Care for Our Common Home,” brought up the issues of indigenous rights, water, and inequality with regards to mining projects.[29]

Revisiting the Arguments

The ICMM Mining Contribution Index, tries to quantify all the effects of mining to “provide an indication of the relative importance of mining in the economic life of [that country].”  The measure ranked 5 Western Hemisphere countries in the top 25 most impacted in 2016: Guyana at 6 with a score of 90.8, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Chile at the bottom: number 24, scoring 75.8.  Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Chile’s inclusion on the 2016 reflect dramatic (+18 to 60) rises in their ranks- and the economic impact of mining- since 2014.  5 Latin American countries make the top 20 list by production values: Chile, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia, between $47.1 and $6.6 billion.[30]

Those high impact, or even high production values, do not necessarily translate to growth and prosperity.  Latin American countries’ fiscal revenues and expenditures do rise, as one might guess, when commodity prices do, but neither automatically become development.[31]  Additionally, not all states are equally sensitive to commodity price shocks up or down.[32]  There is also a difference between, for example, the impact of copper and oil extraction.

A February 2017 IMF working paper evaluates the short and long-term impact of hydrocarbon discovery and extraction on Latin American economies from 1980 to 2014: it finds a production peak at around 3-5 years after discovery, GDP growth over the same period, and that the current and fiscal balance are positive after a few years.  However, the GDP impact is highly variable.  In Bolivia between 2001 and 2012, poverty did fall, and manufacturing and construction employment increased, in mining and gas municipalities. Hydrocarbon revenues were much higher than for mining projects, but proportionately more municipality workers were employed on mining projects than gas.[33]

But it is difficult to prove that local workers are gaining transferable skills from working in Chinese extractive industry.  At the end of 2013, 19,735 Chinese were in Latin America and the Caribbean for engineering projects, and 17,181 for labor.   Argentina, Chile, and Colombia had the largest inflows of Chinese migrants in 2013, with more than 1,400 each.[34]  However, it seems that Chinese investment has, overall, been a boon for Latin American employment.  A report this September found that Chinese business has generated at least 1.8 million jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean- primarily in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico- between 1990 and 2016, 4% of jobs created over that period.  350,000 jobs were created by 60 infrastructure projects between 2005 and 2016.[35]  ILO data shows that employment from mining in the region runs between 4.3% in Peru in 2013 and 0.0% in Suriname in 2013.[36]  Ecuador’s mining industry is expected to see dramatic growth with loosened regulations and massive reserves, and 3,700 currently employed in Ecuadorian mining will likely balloon to 16,000 by 2021.[37]

Another facet of this exchange, Chinese loans, have been parceled out to almost a dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries, 70.82% in energy.[38]  Oil-for-cash loans have helped keep Venezuela’s Petrobas afloat. Depending on your viewpoints, these agreements are too big a gamble on the value of oil, exemplify the benefits of a close and profitable international relationship, in appropriately or appropriately preserve inefficient corporations and state-owned enterprises, or sap state sovereignty.[39]  Venezuela has found itself unable to pay and is behind in oil shipments.[40]

While economic ties created an environment for the loans to be made and that investment can be used for national advancement, the dependence on a foreign nation and the inability to repay debts is a risk to the economic and political infrastructure of the country in question.  Massive investment could lead to foreign companies dominating the domestic industry.  For example, according to Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), “one third of the [Peruvian] mining sector is currently controlled by Chinese interests.”[41]

At the same time, there are distinct foreign policy advantages to having extra-hemispheric options.  In September, the Chinese Minister of Land and Resources noted how he wanted to “keep up the enthusiasm in terms of commercial exchange” with Argentina by promoting Argentinean-Chinese company cooperation on mining projects.[42]  Big deals like the Mexican deepwater oil and gas blocks tighten Chinese ties to Latin American countries and put massive investments at the American doorstep.  Emerging American isolationism could, and possibly has already, pushed American trade partners like Mexico and China closer to each other.[43]  The Chilean vice minister of trade said “Chile chooses openness…” and that her nation is open to other options if the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the US withdrew from, doesn’t pan out.[44]

Eric Marin of Bloomberg Politics observed that the President’s threat to North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) puts economic competitors China and Mexico on the opposing side together.  It’s in the Mexican interest to identify, and demonstrate, options to American trade, even while Chinese direct investment is dwarfed by American.[45]  At the BRICS summit, Mexican President Nieto looked forward to contributing to the dialogue on South-South cooperation, development, trade, and the eradication of poverty.  Those priorities illustrate the scope of the Chinese vision, the marketed intellectual, cooperative product if you come to the Chinese side of the table.[46]

In addition, the American withdraw from the Paris climate accord has left plenty of analysts wondering how well (not if) China will take the banner of environmentalism.  The 13th Five Year Plan, released in 2015 for 2016-2020, committed China towards higher value-added industry, away from heavy industry, but making room for “green mining.” Green technologies and practices, intended to reduce the environmental impact of extraction, are part of a general push towards investment in green projects and financing.[47]  In the absence of American political and industrial leadership, Chinese businesses have an opportunity to step forward as innovators, and Chinese politicians as international standard bearers.

This Chinese rhetoric presents a clear, globalist alternative to “America First.”  At the China-hosted B20 meeting last year, President Xi’s summit speech painted a vision of Chinese reform, to “open up” innovation-lead growth, green development, and equity through Chinese participation in global governance, taking responsibility, and “put[ting] forward China’s comprehensive solution to helping the world economy overcome difficulties.”[48]  Critics of this rhetoric point out the country’s lackluster history with labor and environmental rights and standards.

While the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC) launched “guidelines for social responsibility in outbound mining investments,” in line with the UN guiding principles, in 2014, social responsibility concerns still abounded in the previous version of this report.  The 2015 guidelines for responsible mineral supply chains is similarly based on UN guidance, acknowledges the risk for conflict in mineral mining regions and the need for national standards and support to avoid abuses and comply with national law.  The role of these kinds of documents on the ground is dependent on their enforcement, although on the international level they are a highly visible tip of the hat to global values and governance.[49]

Promisingly, the 2016 EITI Secretariat report found Chinese companies to be generally cooperative with EITI countries, disclosing information when required.  The 130+ companies involved in the reporting represent a dramatic increase from the few dozen identified in previous years.  They report from fully half of EITI countries, showing that Chinese companies have been taking a more active role in EITI transparency globally.[50]  Peru, the one Latin American implementing country in the report, has 4 Chinese and another a joint Chinese venture reporting there.

At home, the Chinese government has begun to target mine safety, and the reduction of mine deaths, by improving legislation, inspections, and closing small mines.[51]  This is in the in response to a horrendous safety record, and builds on 2005 provisions designed to improve safety.[52]  Whether ongoing efforts indicate repeated failure to reform or perseverance in the face of slow progress, the outward rhetoric has been crafted to match those efforts.  As a major commodities producer and consumer, China has the potential to set the reform standard in extraction.

Chinese companies have been chaffing under current regulations in need of streamlining, Chen Jinghe of Zijin Mining Group said this September.[53]  They have dealt a critical hit to Chinese lead stockpiles.[54]  While regulations could just be a ploy to improve the national industry’s image, vanity doesn’t seem a likely motivation, and they could indicate coming changes for all Chinese extraction corporations.

Better environmental regulations could help address the problem of protests in Latin America. “Socio-political and community risks” delays cost mining companies up to $20 billion a week.[55]  Developing platforms like Suna Verde help address company-to-community communications.  While information monopoly (“Suna Verde was rivalling the radio as the region’s main source of news and other information”) for any group should be avoided, communications can improve community involvement, the company’s awareness of their needs, and the company’s ability to anticipate protest.[56]

Regardless, current or coming water shortages in Latin America and elsewhere put a strain on public systems and pressure against mining.  The industry uses and often pollutes massive amounts of the precious fluid, in addition to sometimes causing dramatic landscape changes which can exacerbate the problem.  In El Salvador water has already won over mining, and it might not be the last country where it will.[57]  In Ecuador, equal access to water is legally a human right, and a range of existing bans (ex. against the use of cyanide in gold extraction, against open pit mining) set a precedent.[58]

But decisions to limit investment can have their consequences. El Salvador could be sitting on over 400 tons of gold.[59] For companies who have invested fortunes in exploration, research, or existing projects, the move can be an incredible blow.  Further, it could scare off new investors, and not just in extraction. While the ban is intended to protect the water, and therefore the people and their livelihoods most impacted by mining, native artisanal miners are now on the way out of a job, skillset, and way of life.  600 protestors in San Sebastián don’t trust the government to provide alternatives, and insist that their practices are clean.[60]

An alternative to a ban could be strict penalties for violating existing regulations, or putting new ones in place. However, these solutions require strong political infrastructure and a vocal, enfranchised civil society, leaving little option for countries with weaker political infrastructure.

It is easy for the mining industry to come across as predatory in an unstable political environment, especially in forums focused on industry, rather than community, health.  On the agenda for the upcoming Mining & Investment Latin America summit is “Venezuela on verge of collapse: Will this become an opportunity?” and “Where are the ‘hot-spots’ for exploration across Latin America? What are investors looking for?”[61]

But the summit also highlights opportunities for cooperation.  Discussions like “Post peace deal: What are the benefits and opportunities for the mining sector with peace in Colombia and how can mining be an active agent for consolidating peace?” and “How can the Government help to solve social conflict and ongoing challenges with local communities in Peru?” illustrate the potential role of mining in long term stability.

At the same time, Latin American citizens may not trust their governments to use the financial and political windfall of extraction projects wisely, or at least not in their interest.  The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Shapers Survey reports on the opinions on access and governance of thousands of 18-35 year olds from all over the world.[62]  The 6,699 Latin American and Caribbean youth from 12 countries often stood apart from others on the survey.  65.9% believe their views aren’t being heard.  They distrust institutions to a generational extreme, and 78% said the most frustrating thing about government leaders was their corruption, versus 51.6% globally.  65.3% said government accountability/corruption was the biggest problem facing their country.

The survey shows evidence of many of the same problems explored in the previous version of this paper: disconnect and disenfranchisement, corruption, and lack of opportunity.  Whether these problems are the chicken or the egg, and mines the problem or the solution, likely depends on the specific local situation.  For Latin America, the rhetorical push towards green mining, international safety standards, and internal regulations could mark the start of Chinese government pressure on Chinese industry to adhere to higher standards, addressing the root of many protests against mining projects in the region.  However, it will all depend on enforcement and continued reform.

Conclusion

Overall, Chinese extraction in Latin America continues to be a mixed blessing.  Environmental and labor issues, as well as the “resource curse” debate, remain.  However, the emerging Chinese image of a responsible, clean international investor could have positive implications in Latin America.  But China isn’t the only player in the industry in the region.  Canadian, Australian, British, and American companies all contribute to the costs and benefits of extractive industry in Latin America, and for the region to fully reap the benefits of investment, it will need to better regulate, supervise, and enforce.

In this both states and Chinese companies have made some progress.  The oft mentioned El Salvador ban, and Chile’s structured control of their industry, as well as Chinese EITI cooperation and domestic reforms, are all evidence of that.  While widespread, frequent, and sometimes violent protests could be seen as beacons over the injustices of extractive industry, they are also compelling evidence of a concerned and active civil society which could positively change the industry for those communities and, in the long run, for the industry itself.

China is definitely in Latin America to stay:  Latin American countries and China have forged solid, multilayered trans-Pacific bonds, and extractive industry plays a major role in how they interact and how they hope to achieve their goals.

 

 

 

 

[1] During my research, I ran across a recent paper by Brookings’ David Dollar.  It covers many of the same topics and issues as my 2015 paper, with some of the same sources and much better presentation.  Given the better composition and a more qualified author, I think the paper is an incredibly valuable way to review the 2015 discussion: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/fp_201701_china_investment_lat_am.pdf

[2] The World Bank. 2017. “Global Economic Prospects: Latin America and the Caribbean.” Accessed 2017. http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/852411493655498052/Global-Economic-Prospects-June-2017-Latin-America-and-Caribbean-analysis.pdf

[3] PwC. 2017. “Mining 2017.” 14th annual review. Accessed 2017. https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/mining/assets/mine-2017-pwc.pdf.

The World Bank. 2017. “Commodity Markets Outlook.” Quarterly Report. Accessed 2017. http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/174381493046968144/CMO-April-2017-Full-Report.pdf.

[4] PwC. 2017. “Mining 2017.” 14th annual review. Accessed 2017. https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/mining/assets/mine-2017-pwc.pdf.

Staff Reporter. 2017. “China Moly bolsters balance sheet.” Mining Journal. July 31. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining-journal.com/commodities/copper/china-moly-bolsters-balance-sheet/.

[5] China Power Team. 2016. “Does China dominate global investment?” China Power. September 26. Accessed October 12, 2017. https://chinapower.csis.org/china-foreign-direct-investment/.

Esteban, Mario. 2016. “China: a partner for the development of Latin America?” Real Instituto Elcano. November 7. Accessed 2017. http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/web/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zonas_in/commentary-esteban-china-partner-development-latin-america.

[6] Jamasmie, Cecilia. 2017. “Ecuador mining industry to grow eightfold by 2021 — report.” Mining.com. April 19. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/ecuador-mining-industry-to-grown-eightfold-by-2021-report/.

[7] The Goldman Environmental Prize. n.d. “Máxima Acuña.” The Goldman Environmental Prize. Accessed 2017. http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/maxima-acuna/.

[8] The Editorial Board. 2017. “El Salvador’s Historic Mining Ban.” The New York Times. April 1. Accessed 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/opinion/sunday/el-salvadors-historic-mining-ban.html?mcubz=0.

[9] Leotaud, Valentina Ruiz. 2017. “Argentina to ramp up exploration.” Mining.com. September 6. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/argentina-ramp-exploration/.

[10] “rock concretions formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core” at the bottom of the sediment at the bottom of the ocean floor

Reuters. 2017. “China Minmetals flags off deep-sea mining voyage.” Mining.com. August 29. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/web/china-minmetals-flags-off-deep-sea-mining-voyage/.

n.d. “Polymetallic Nodules.” Internnational Seabed Authority. Accessed 2017. https://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/Brochures/ENG7.pdf.

[11] Barrera, Adriana, and David Alire Garcia. 2016. “China stakes claim in Mexico oil opening at deep water auction.” Reuters. December 6. Accessed 2017. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-oil-auction-first/china-stakes-claim-in-mexico-oil-opening-at-deep-water-auction-idUSKBN13U2I2.

[12] Zhou, Viola. 2016. “China’s deep-sea mission to mine the wealth beneath the ocean floor.” South China Morning Post. October 6. Accessed 2017. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2025456/chinas-deep-sea-mission-mine-wealth-beneath-ocean-floor.

[13] Smith, Julian. 2016. “Seafloor Miners Poised to Cut into an Invisible Frontier.” Scientific American. August 11. Accessed 2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/seafloor-miners-poised-to-cut-into-an-invisible-frontier/#.

Zhou, Viola. 2016. “China’s deep-sea mission to mine the wealth beneath the ocean floor.” South China Morning Post. October 6. Accessed 2017. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2025456/chinas-deep-sea-mission-mine-wealth-beneath-ocean-floor.

[14] 2017. “Brazil court blocks Amazon mining decree.” BBC News. August 30. Accessed 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41100541?utm_content=bufferf9ba8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

Garcia, Beatriz. 2017. “The World Protests as Amazon Forests Are Opened to Mining.” The Wire. August 30. Accessed 2017. https://thewire.in/171887/the-world-protests-as-amazon-forests-are-opened-to-mining/.

  1. “Brazil revokes decree opening Amazon reserve to mining.” BBC News. September 26. Accessed 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41395025.

[15] Xin, Zeng. 2016. “CNOOC buys two blocks in oil auction.” China Daily. December 8. Accessed 2017. https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-12/08/content_27606694.htm.

[16] —. 2017. “Mexico president to visit China to boost trade amid NAFTA talks.” CNBC. August 28. Accessed 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/28/reuters-america-mexico-president-to-visit-china-to-boost-trade-amid-nafta-talks.html.

[17] Phippen, J. Weston. 2017. “Mexico Plays the ‘China Card’.” The Atlantic. September 4. Accessed 2017. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/09/mexcio-nafta-plan-b/538620/.

[18] Although private sector, non-mining industry respondents were included, the survey was in English and online, and so likely doesn’t include representatives of the communities where mining is most impactful around the world or in Latin America.

GlobeScan Incorporated. 2017. ICMM 2017 Industry Stakeholders Opinion Survey . International Council of Mining & Metals. Accessed 2017. https://www.icmm.com/website/publications/pdfs/public-perceptions/170324_icmm_2017-industry-stakeholders-perceptions-survey.pdf.

[19] As of 2013 https://ejatlas.org/featured/mining-latam#

[20] 2016. “From conflict to co-operation.” The Economist. February 6. Accessed 2017. https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21690100-big-miners-have-better-record-their-critics-claim-it-up-governments-balance.

[21] Which may receive more attention before the year is out, 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2016/08/Tenth-Anniversary-of-the-United-Nations-Declaration-on-the-Rights-of-Indigenous-Peoples.pdf

[22] Sheets, Sarah. 2017. “El Salvador’s Mining Ban: Land Rights, Development, and Democracy in Latin America.” Berkeley Political Review. May 2. Accessed 2017. https://bpr.berkeley.edu/2017/05/02/el-salvadors-mining-ban-land-rights-development-and-democracy-in-latin-america/.

[23] Blanco, Andrea Reyes, and Tim Shenk. 2016. “Land Grabbing Is Killing Honduras’ Indigenous Peoples.” Telesur. April 5. Accessed 2017. https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Land-Grabbing-Is-Killing-Honduras-Indigenous-Peoples-20160405-0029.html.

[24] Reuters Staff. 2016. “One killed in Peru protests against Las Bambas copper mine.” Reuters. October 14. Accessed 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-peru-mining-clash/one-killed-in-peru-protests-against-las-bambas-copper-mine-idUSKBN12F01W?il=0.

[25] Fieser, Ezra. 2016. “Latin American Christians blast ‘mega-mining’.” Crux. September 9. Accessed 2017. Latin American Christians blast ‘mega-mining’.  https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/09/09/christians-leaders-latin-american-say-mining-causes-damage-not-benefits/

[26] n.d. “Churches and Mining Network Meets with Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.” Franciscans International. Accessed 2017. http://franciscansinternational.org/old/News.111.0.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=490&cHash=7e0ed256fef0c157532d2b24253fb384.

[27] 2016. “Letter from Church and Mining to Pope Francis.” CIDSE. November 7. Accessed 2017. http://www.cidse.org/publications/business-and-human-rights/letter-from-church-and-mining-to-pope-francis.html.

[28] Dettloff, Dean. 2017. “Canadian bishops call out their country’s mining companies for destructive practices abroad.” America: The Jesuit Review. August 15. Accessed 2017. https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/08/15/canadian-bishops-call-out-their-countrys-mining-companies-destructive.

[29] Francis, Pope. 2015. “Encyclical Letter: Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis On Care for Our Common Home.” Vatican.va. May 24. Accessed 2017. http://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf.

[30] ICMM. 2016. Role of Mining in National Economies. 3rd Edition, ICMM. https://www.icmm.com/website/publications/pdfs/society-and-the-economy/161026_icmm_romine_3rd-edition.pdf.

[31] Medina, Leandro. 2016. “The Effects of Commodity Price Shocks on Fiscal Aggregates in Latin America.” IMF Economic Review, September 28, August 2016 ed.: 502-525. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fimfer.2016.14.

Venables, Anthony J. 2016. “Using Natural Resources for Development: Why has it Proven so Difficult?” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 161-184. Accessed 2017. http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.30.1.161.

[32] Medina, Leandro. 2016. “The Effects of Commodity Price Shocks on Fiscal Aggregates in Latin America.” IMF Economic Review, September 28, August 2016 ed.: 502-525. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fimfer.2016.14.

[33] Toscani, F. 2017. The Impact of Natural Resource Discoveries in Latin America. Working Paper, IMF, IMF. Accessed 2017. https://www.imf.org/~/media/Files/Publications/WP/wp1727.ashx.

[34] Mazza, Jacqueline. 2016. “Chinese Migration to Latin America and the Caribbean.” The Dialogue. October. Accessed 2017. http://www.thedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Chinese_Migration_to_LAC_Mazza-1.pdf.

[35] 2017. “Comercio, inversiones y proyectos de China generan 1,8 millones de empleos en América Latina y el Caribe.” ElMundo.cr. September 7. Accessed 2017. https://www.elmundo.cr/comercio-inversiones-proyectos-china-generan-18-millones-empleos-america-latina-caribe/.

[36] Though it should be noted that the years for comparison are 2013, 2014, or 2015, and not for all countries.  Additionally, they compare current mining employment, not job creation.

ICMM. 2016. Role of Mining in National Economies. 3rd Edition, ICMM. https://www.icmm.com/website/publications/pdfs/society-and-the-economy/161026_icmm_romine_3rd-edition.pdf.

[37] Jamasmie, Cecilia. 2017. “Ecuador mining industry to grow eightfold by 2021 — report.” Mining.com. April 19. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/ecuador-mining-industry-to-grown-eightfold-by-2021-report/.

However, on October 2nd national referendum questions on limiting mining in protected or urban areas, or specifically hydrocarbons in Yasuni National Park, were released.  If approved, the limits could put a damper on new mining projects and make investors leery about future restrictions.

– Dhont, Arthur. 2017. “Ecuador announces multi-question referendum: if approved this would limit mining and hydrocarbon activities and end indefinite re-election.” Jane’s 360. October 3. Accessed 2017. http://www.janes.com/article/74584/ecuador-announces-multi-question-referendum-if-approved-this-would-limit-mining-and-hydrocarbon-activities-and-end-indefinite-re-election.

[38] Chun, Zhang. 2017. “Latin America’s Oil-Dependent States Struggle to Repay Chinese Debts.” The Diplomat. April 15. Accessed 2017. https://thediplomat.com/2017/04/latin-americas-oil-dependent-states-struggle-to-repay-chinese-debts/.

[39] Forest, Dave. 2016. “CHINA JUST LOCKED UP $10B IN OIL SUPPLY FROM THIS KEY NATION.” Pierce Points. March 2. Accessed 2017. http://piercepoints.com/energy-investment-exploration-china-brazil-oil-supply-loan/.

[40] Chun, Zhang. 2017. “Latin America’s Oil-Dependent States Struggle to Repay Chinese Debts.” The Diplomat. April 15. Accessed 2017. https://thediplomat.com/2017/04/latin-americas-oil-dependent-states-struggle-to-repay-chinese-debts/.

[41] EITI Secretariat. 2016. Chinese Companies Reporting in EITI Countries. Oslo: EITI. Accessed 2017. https://eiti.org/sites/default/files/documents/eiti_chinese_companies_reporting_updated_feb2016.pdf.

[42] —. 2017. “China and Argentina to strengthen mining cooperation.” Mining.com. September 25. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/china-argentina-strengthen-mining-cooperation/.

[43] —. 2017. “Mexico president to visit China to boost trade amid NAFTA talks.” CNBC. August 28. Accessed 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/28/reuters-america-mexico-president-to-visit-china-to-boost-trade-amid-nafta-talks.html.

[44] Zhou, Laura. 2016. “Latin American economies look to China for free trade options.” South China Morning Post. November 20. Accessed 2017. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2047728/latin-american-economies-look-china-free-trade-options.

[45] Martin, Eric. 2017. “How Trump’s Nafta Threats Are Bringing Mexico and China Together.” Bloomberg Politics. August 31. Accessed 2017. https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-08-31/how-trump-s-nafta-threats-are-bringing-mexico-and-china-together.

[46] 2017. “As NAFTA Negotiations Continue, Mexican President Peña Nieto Attends BRICS Summit.” Telesur. September 3. Accessed 2017. https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/As-NAFTA-Negotiations-Continue-Mexican-President-Pena-Nieto-Attends-BRICS-Summit-20170903-0018.html.

[47] U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. n.d. “The 13th Five-Year Plan.” U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Accessed 2017. https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/The%2013th%20Five-Year%20Plan.pdf.

[48] B20 2016. 2016. “Chinese business community studies Xi’s keynote B20 Summit speech.” B20 2016 China. September 20. Accessed 2017. http://en.b20-china.org/mediacenter/article/441.

[49] China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers & Exporters. 2015. “Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.” OECD. December 2. Accessed 2017. http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/chinese-due-diligence-guidelines-for-responsible-mineral-supply-chains.htm.

[50] EITI Secretariat. 2016. Chinese Companies Reporting in EITI Countries. Oslo: EITI. Accessed 2017. https://eiti.org/sites/default/files/documents/eiti_chinese_companies_reporting_updated_feb2016.pdf.

[51] —. 2017. “China to shut 6,000 non-coal mines by 2020 to improve safety.” Mining.com. August 27. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/web/china-shut-6000-non-coal-mines-2020-improve-safety/.

In 2014, there were 931 mining casualties among the almost 6 million people working in mining in China.

  1. “From conflict to co-operation.” The Economist. February 6. Accessed 2017. https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21690100-big-miners-have-better-record-their-critics-claim-it-up-governments-balance.

[52] 2012. “China’s appalling mining death rate – dealing with ‘disorderly’ management.” Mining-Technology.com. October 31. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining-technology.com/features/featurechina-mine-death-rate-coal-safety/.

[53] —. 2017. “China’s miners need more leeway, Zijin’s Chen says.” Mining Weekly. September 25. Accessed 2017. http://www.miningweekly.com/article/chinas-miners-need-more-leeway-zijins-chen-says-2017-09-25/rep_id:3650.

[54] —. 2017. “China’s environmental crackdown dries up lead supply amid demand surge.” Business Insider. September 13. Accessed 2017. http://www.businessinsider.com/r-chinas-environmental-crackdown-dries-up-lead-supply-amid-demand-surge-2017-9.

[55] —. 2017. “Mining industry can now predict opposition to projects before it’s too late.” Mining.com. August 7. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/mining-industry-can-now-predict-opposition-projects-spending-single-dime/.

[56] —. 2017. “Mining industry can now predict opposition to projects before it’s too late.” Mining.com. August 7. Accessed 2017. http://www.mining.com/mining-industry-can-now-predict-opposition-projects-spending-single-dime/.

[57] Vidal, John. 2017. “As water scarcity deepens across Latin America, political instability grows.” The Guardian. March 1. Accessed 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/01/water-scarcity-latin-america-political-instability.

[58] Vidal, John. 2017. “As water scarcity deepens across Latin America, political instability grows.” The Guardian. March 1. Accessed 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/01/water-scarcity-latin-america-political-instability.

[59] Walter, Jan D. 2017. “‘Water wins over gold’ in El Salvador mining ban.” DW.com. March 31. Accessed 2017. http://www.dw.com/en/water-wins-over-gold-in-el-salvador-mining-ban/a-38233124.

[60] Martins, Catarina Fernandes. 2017. “‘Artisanal’ miners in El Salvador face ruin as ban comes into force.” The Guardian. May 20. Accessed 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/20/artisanal-miners-in-el-salvador-face-ruin-as-ban-comes-into-force.

[61] GFC Media Group. 2017. “2017 Agenda.” Mining & Investment Latin America Summit. Accessed 2017. http://www.gfcmediagroup.com/mining-and-investment-latam/agenda.

[62] In 2017, it included 24,766 surveys from 186 countries.

World Economic Forum. 2017. “Global Shapers Survey.” Annual, Global Shapers Community. Accessed 2017. http://www.shaperssurvey2017.org/static/data/WEF_GSC_Annual_Survey_2017.pdf.

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