Mining News

More On Transparency

Posted by Alana Wilson on 6/20/2013 2:40:13 PM

By Ken Greeni

As I noted recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that Canada will “establish new, mandatory reporting standards for payments made to foreign and domestic governments by Canadian extractive companies.” The move is being lauded by many, but does face some opposition, including opposition from some business groups and trade associations in the U.S.

On the World Resources Institute blog WRIInsights, Catherine Easton, Natalya Lozovaya and Peter Veit explore the issue further in an article entitled “Ending the "Resource Curse": Canada Commits to Make Mining More Transparent”

The article discusses the importance of transparency in the context of the “Resource Curse,” which they describe as:

situations where, despite a country’s mineral or oil wealth, poverty is exacerbated in part by weak or corrupt institutions, government mismanagement of revenues, and a failure to re-invest into projects that benefit the public—such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Often, citizens of resource curse countries aren’t able to hold their governments accountable for this abuse of power because they lack information about their country’s revenues and expenditures.

One of the most interesting aspects of the WRI article is its graphic portrayal of how important Canada’s transparency issue is on a global basis. As they explain:

Canada is the world’s leading mining country. Almost 1,700 mining companies are listed on and regulated by the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), placing a large share of the global mining sector under Canada’s regulation. Of approximately 10,000 mineral projectsundertaken by TSX and TSXV-listed companies, almost half are located outside of Canada. The graphic below illustrates the global reach of Canadian mining companies, with operations in both developed countries like the United States, and developing countries such as Tanzania, Mali, DRC and Burkina Faso. Therefore, implementing a national disclosure policy would have a big impact in making the global mining sector more transparent and accountable.

Location of TSX companies image

The entire article is worth reading too

iDr. Kenneth P. Green
Senior Director, Natural Resource Studies
The Fraser Institute (Calgary Office)


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