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Problems with Reporting and Evaluating Mining Industry Community Development Projects: A Case Study from Tanzania

Author

Listed:
  • Jody Emel

    () (Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

  • Madoshi H. Makene

    () (Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

  • Esther Wangari

    () (Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Baltimore, MD 21252, USA)

Abstract

Reporting on contributions to community development is one way gold mining companies communicate the expanse and depth of their commitment to social responsibility. These projects are intended to provide the mine-proximate communities with some of the wealth and other benefits generated by mine development in their locales. We raise questions about reporting and evaluation of community development projects undertaken by AngloGold Ashanti in the two communities of Nyakabale and Nyamalembo, near its Geita mining projects in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Tanzania. We use archival data and data obtained from field research conducted during different periods throughout 2005, 2007 and 2010 to compare what the company reports to have done with what is found on the ground. Our findings revealed that the corporate reporting is misleading, ambiguous, and omissive. Much of the effort labeled “community development” benefited the companies directly via infrastructure development, food supplies to the mine cafeteria, and worker health. We argue that, if Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects are to be the primary way local people directly benefit from mine development, the relationship between the value of those projects and the wealth taken from the location should be considered, community projects should be well defined and differentiated from company-oriented projects, and community representatives should participate in monitoring the success and impact of community development projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Jody Emel & Madoshi H. Makene & Esther Wangari, 2012. "Problems with Reporting and Evaluating Mining Industry Community Development Projects: A Case Study from Tanzania," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-21, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:257-277:d:16224
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spector, Bert, 2008. "“Business Responsibilities in a Divided World”: The Cold War Roots of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 314-336, June.
    2. Crowson, Phillip, 2009. "Adding public value: The limits of corporate responsibility," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 105-111, September.
    3. Cho, Charles H. & Roberts, Robin W. & Patten, Dennis M., 2010. "The language of US corporate environmental disclosure," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 431-443, May.
    4. Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi, 2011. "A Global Mining Corporation and Local Communities in the Lake Victoria Zone: The Case of Barrick Gold Multinational in Tanzania," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 253-282, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Samuel Spiegel & Susan Keane & Steve Metcalf & Marcello Veiga, 2015. "Implications of the Minamata Convention on Mercury for informal gold mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: from global policy debates to grassroots implementation?," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 765-785, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate social responsibility; community development; gold mining; Tanzania;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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