Panel 17: ENVIRONMENT – Mining

The scramble for land is in substantial part a scramble for mineral wealth. While land grabs for food and fuel crops have gained attention in recent years, mining expansion in many developing countries is similarly increasing competition over land. In this panel, case studies of mining expansion in Costa Rica, Ghana, South Africa and China document the intersection of local, domestic, regional and transnational politics and interests that are ranged around mining initiatives, and the ways in which these legitimise mining developments on land that is already occupied and used.

The presenters show how mining investments have been re-framed as ‘green’ projects, combining conservation and green energy initiatives alongside ecologically destructive extraction methods. In particular, the papers explore the contested nature of customary tenure and traditional institutions in the context of contestation between existing users and uses and mining interests, and various systems of beneficiation.

Chair: Gavin Capps, University of Cape Town

  • Gavin Capps, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Investigating the Mining-Land-Chief Complex: The Case of the BaFokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine Development in South Africa’s North West Province
  • Dana Graef, Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology & Environmental Studies, Yale University, Legacies of Transnational Mining and Hydropower in Defining Costa Rican Environmental Sovereignty
  • William Tsuma, PhD, Mining and Minerals Reforms In Ghana: Strategy to Legitimize Land Acquisitions and Grabbing in Mining Communities
  • Ye Jingzhong and Wang Chunyu, China Agricultural University, Beijing, Mining and Land in North China: politics and livelihoods (Presentation)

Phemo Kgomotso