Conflict and reconciliation
Mining can yield a range of benefits to societies, but in areas where there is political instability, a lack of economic development or historic differences it can also lead to conflict. Laws exist in several jurisdictions including the US and EU to ensure that so-called 'conflict minerals', where the extraction of metals and minerals is linked with war or armed conflict and often human rights violations are not used in consumer goods. However, conflict is broader than “conflict minerals” and can lead to violence and fragility in communities and states, and between large scale mining and artisanal and small-scale mining.
This means that both demand and supply-side companies, and their investors, share a responsibility to understand where the metals and minerals in their supply chains come from, how they relate to conflict and where relevant to consider whether mining operations can contribute to peace and reconciliation.