News and Media

Foreign Mining in Ecuador: A Net Positive Effect on the Community and the Economy

Public policy economist Patrick Luciani of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto highlighted RIWI data streams about foreign mining projects in Ecuador in the December 2017 issue of the Canadian Mining Journal. The data suggest that the people of Ecuador share mixed views toward foreign mining; the author’s interpretation suggests there may be an ethical obligation for extractives industries to solicit the ongoing opinions of people affected by foreign mining firms. In April 2016 and then in September 2017, more than 12,000 Ecuadorians provided opinions about the impact they perceived foreign mining had on their lives across four areas: the community, economy, environment, and the labor market. Consistently, with strong statistical stability year-over-year, respondents in Ecuador saw foreign mining as having a net positive effect on their communities, on the economy and on employment. Separately, for the environment, responses were evenly split between perceived positive and negative net effects arising from foreign mining. The first wave of the survey came just after the implementation of an official government policy encouraging foreign investment into the mining industry to promote national economic growth.

Today, mining is just as much about understanding the attitudes of those affected as it is about the actual extraction. It is crucial for all global companies, when considering investment or market entry into any jurisdiction, to be aware of what affected populations may think in terms of large-scale development projects that could impact their daily lives. With the rise in Internet penetration in developing countries such as Ecuador, it is now easier to collect multiple, cost-effective Web- and evidence-based data streams that reflect both the needs and concerns of any affected population in the world. As profiled in the December 2017 issue of the Canadian Mining Journal, the author reflects upon these topics and on related demographic indicators.

Full article available here: Canadian Mining Journal December 2017