In a feature article (reproduced below) in Canada's National Post Business magazine of August 2004, Peter Taylor writes on the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility by focusing on Canadian mining multinational Placer Dome. Placer's ongoing environmental and social problems, as a result of a massive mine waste spill at its Marcopper operations in the Philippines, form the backdrop of his story, but Taylor homes in on the controversy surrounding Placer's Porgera gold mine in highlands of Papua New Guinea.
The astonishing cost of the minerals we take for granted must be respected and accounted for in government policy and industry practice. This means treasuring the minerals that have already been extracted and reducing the need for mining wherever possible. Many more jobs and more sustainable economies can be created in the minerals industry if the focus shifts from mining to the re-use of minerals already taken from the ground and to value-added production in Canada.
The presentation builds on the idea that the mining industry is propped up by seven myths:
- Mining is about the extraction of minerals
- Mining has a small footprint
- Communities are eager to have mining
- Government will protect us, and there are laws and regulations in place to do this
- The economic benefits from mining justify the disruption
- We need more raw materials
- Mining is okay somewhere else but not here