The Canadian mining map was produced by the Halifax Initiative during the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries. The Roundtables, which took place between June and November of 2006, fulfilled one of the recommendations made in the groundbreaking report, Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility, tabled by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) in June 2005.
The Canadian mining industry often portrays itself as a responsible corporate citizen and frequently characterizes those mining companies whose overseas operations are socially and environmentally destructive as “a few bad apples.” Industry often dismisses reports that reveal the adverse impacts of Canadian mines as “anecdotal.”
The mining map was developed with three objectives in mind:
- To refute the mining industry's argument that the problems associated with Canadian overseas mining operations are restricted to a small number of companies and a handful of isolated projects. The twenty-three projects that are featured on the map show wide temporal and geographic scope - demonstrating that the incidence of Canadian mining projects associated with significant adverse social and environmental problems is far more widespread than the mining industry would have you believe. As the map reveals, this is an industry-wide problem, present wherever Canadian mining companies invest, worldwide.
- To demonstrate that many mining projects, including those associated with environmental and social problems, benefit from public support. Canadian mining companies receive various forms of financial and political support from the Government of Canada to facilitate their overseas investments. The mining map includes information about the public support that was given to the featured projects. See the map legend for an explanation of how public funds are channeled to Canadian mining companies.
- To raise awareness about the impacts of Canadian mining operations in developing countries and the need for binding regulatory instruments to govern those operations. The Halifax Initiative, together with other members of the Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability, believes that the overseas operations of Canadian mining companies should be regulated by the Canadian government to ensure compliance with clearly-defined corporate social responsibility, human rights and environmental standards. Compliance with such standards should be made a precondition for the provision of financial and political assistance to Canadian mining companies by the Government of Canada.
For a fully referenced version of the text included in the map, click here. The map is accurate as of October 1, 2006.
Mining Map Legend
Canadian mining companies receive numerous forms of public support. In addition to the domestic and multilateral institutions listed below, the Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA) provides equity financing for private sector initiatives, including investments in the mineral sector. Some companies also receive political and/or financial support from Canadian embassies, through diplomatic interventions and via Team Canada trade missions. The Canadian government has provided technical assistance to some developing countries to assist in liberalizing their regulatory frameworks. Figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.
ADB - Asian Development Bank The ADB is a public international financial institution that provides loans and technical assistance for a broad range of development activities. Canada holds a seat on the Bank’s Board of Directors and currently contributes $51.5 million annually. The ADB provides loans for private sector projects as well as technical assistance to governments to reform their mining laws and mining tax regimes. http://www.adb.org (link is external)
CAO - Compliance Advisor / Ombudsman The CAO is an independent office that reports directly to the President of the World Bank Group (WBG) regarding IFC and MIGA projects. The WBG is the world’s largest grouping of public, multilateral institutions that provide international development financing to developing countries and emerging economies. The CAO assesses and makes recommendations regarding complaints that it receives from persons who are affected (or likely to be affected) by projects that are supported by IFC or MIGA. As part of this process, the CAO evaluates whether or not IFC and MIGA have complied with their environmental and social policies and procedures. http://www.cao-ombudsman.org (link is external)
Canadian International Development Agency The Canadian International Development Agency is Canada’s lead government agency for development assistance. Through the CIDA Canada Fund, Canadian embassies support small, in-country initiatives. In the Philippines, Canada Fund resources were utilized by mining company TVI Pacific Inc. to fund projects with local communities. http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca (link is external)
CPP - Canadian Pension Plan The CPP is a public retirement income program administered by the federal government. The CPP Investment Board invests surplus pension contributions in an investment fund. At $90 billion, the fund is one of the largest in the country. More than half of fund assets are held in publicly-traded corporate stocks, including shares in mining companies. Amounts quoted on this map for the CPP refer to investments in mining companies and not specific mining projects. Values are accurate as of March 31, 2006. http://www.cppib.ca/index_en.html (link is external)
EBRD - European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Following the collapse of communism, the EBRD was established to facilitate private sector development in central Europe and Asia. The Bank is the single largest investor in the region. Canada holds a seat on the Bank’s Board of Directors and contributes to the EBRD through a number of technical assistance funds. The EBRD provides financial support for oil and gas facilities, pipelines and metal mining projects. http://www.ebrd.org (link is external)
EDC - Export Development Canada EDC is a federal crown corporation mandated to promote Canadian trade abroad. EDC is the primary source of public financing for Canadian exports and overseas private sector investment. Like other export credit agencies (ECAs), EDC provides government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to domestic corporations for overseas projects. In 2005, EDC provided Canadian corporations with over $57 billion in finance and risk- management services. EDC backing often helps corporations leverage additional private sector capital for their projects. Among other sectors, EDC supports Canadian overseas mining projects. http://www.edc.ca (link is external)
IFC - International Finance Corporation The IFC is the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group (WBG). The WBG is the world’s largest grouping of public, multilateral institutions that provide international development financing to developing countries and emerging economies. The IFC was established to promote private sector investment in these countries. The Corporation lends money to companies, purchases equity in their projects and provides private sector actors with technical expertise. Canada is represented on the IFC’s Board of Directors, and it gives $318.27 million every fiscal year to the WBG or 10% of Canada’s total aid budget. Mining, oil and gas investments receive significant support from the IFC. http://www.ifc.org (link is external)
MIGA - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency MIGA is the insurance arm of the World Bank Group (WBG). The WBG is the world’s largest grouping of public, multilateral institutions that provide international development financing to developing countries and emerging economies. MIGA insulates foreign corporations and private banks from many of the risks associated with making investments in developing countries. These risks include breach of contract, government expropriation and currency inconvertibility. Canada is represented on MIGA’s Board of Directors, and it gives $318.27 million every fiscal year to the WBG or 10% of Canada’s total aid budget. Mining, oil and gas investments receive significant support from MIGA. http://www.miga.org (link is external)
The mining map was produced with the financial support of the following Halifax Initiative members:
- Canadian Auto Workers International Dept. (link is external)
- Democracy Watch (link is external)
- Development and Peace (link is external)
- Friends of the Earth Canada (link is external)
- KAIROS - Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives (link is external)
- MiningWatch Canada (link is external)
- North South Institute (link is external)
- Social Justice Committee (link is external)
- Steeworkers Humanity Fund (link is external)