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Commentary on the global mining industry corporate profile, complexity, and change

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A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 04 October 2023

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Abstract

This commentary is a response to the Hodge et al. (Miner Econ 35: 587-606, 2022) article on global mining industry corporate profiles, complexity, and change. The author states that the total number and distribution of mining companies may be weighted towards non-OECD developing countries, especially with regard to small to medium size companies. This difference may in turn influence corporate sustainability practices and performance, consequently affecting the trust deficit. This assertion is supported by a brief comparison of the Global Top 50 mining companies based on Sustainalytics data. Companies from OECD countries tend to perform much better than non-OECD country–based companies, especially the Chinese and Indian companies. The corporate profile differences and sustainability performance country by country clearly exert an influence on the trickle-down effect as well. Real and imaginary reasons for trust deficit in different countries may also vary considerably. There is clear evidence that overall adverse impacts related to mining activity may be much greater in many developing countries. This does not, however, prevent or discourage the development of strong anti-mining movements in many developed countries, even though it is the developed world which has a huge appetite for commodities, particularly to meet the demands of the highly ambitious Green Transition. This creates a sustainability dilemma, where the much-sought-after commodities are sourced mostly from jurisdictions where adverse effects on the environment and society are potentially greatest. The author proposes enhanced research and dialogue to be undertaken on these topics by all industry parties to improve understanding on the matter, which should also contribute to policy and decision-making. Eventually, the commodity pricing mechanisms should reflect sustainability performance, providing yet further incentives for the producers to continuously improve performance.

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Notes

  1. RWI or Revenue Watch Institute is known nowadays as Natural Resource Governance Institute, NRGI. See further information: https://resourcegovernance.org/about-us

  2. Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE are to become full members from 1 January 2024 as announced at BRICS summit in South Africa 24 August 2023. http://infobrics.org/post/39186/

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Correspondence to Pekka Tuomela.

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Tuomela, P. Commentary on the global mining industry corporate profile, complexity, and change. Miner Econ 36, 733–739 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13563-023-00393-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13563-023-00393-z

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