Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSMM442 - Politics, Mining and Sustainable Development (2020)

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MODULE TITLEPolitics, Mining and Sustainable Development CREDIT VALUE15
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 25
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

The module will introduce you to interdisciplinary perspectives from different disciplines (anthropology, social science, politics, economics and geography) on sustainable development as it pertains to mining. Topics will include: sustainable development perspectives, politics and mining; mining in changing political landscapes, social impacts of mining; political economy of mineral resources; international best practice in mining; Mining, biodiversity conservation, human rights and community development; global environmental legislation and local realities; mining and conflict, corporate social responsibility and its implications for mining; Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) in context; Mining, environmental challenges, social development and sustainable solutions. These topics, will offer you an overview of critical issues at the intersection between mining, politics and sustainable development and thus of critical importance for those seeking employment in the mining industry or sector related to mining both in international development, policy, consultancy and private and public sectors.

AIMS - intentions of the module
Emphasising the link between theory, policy and practice, this module will focus on the intersection between mining, politics and sustainable development. During each lecture, the module will use findings from primary research, literature and case studies from different mineral resource rich countries in both developing and developed countries. You will have the opportunity to contribute to lectures through discussions and group presentations and hear from selected guest speakers from different background including public and private sector, International development, INGOs, NGOs and consultancy.
The module aims to provide you with:
- The capacity to critically analyse mineral resource governance approaches, best practices in mining, tools and initiatives designated and implemented by donors, NGOS and international development actors to improve impact of mining on societies and their environments;
- The ability to highlight the importance of politics for mining and sustainable development; how political dynamics and practises – including formal and informal institutions, government and non-government actors, gender, leadership, welfares and thoughts – form and are formed by mining in resource-rich countries;
- The opportunity to engage with a range of experts, including business actors, donors, policy-makers and international development actors working on issues related to mining;
- With an overview of the social, environmental, economic, health and safety impact of mining, the challenges they pause and potential solutions;
- An understanding of the challenges and opportunities that Artisanal and Small-scale mining present for economic growth;
- An introduction to different types of social research approaches on mining and politics, and an understanding of the link between theory and practice mineral resource governance and management of the impact of mining;
- With the ability to pursue further studies in the field of mining, seek employment in private and public sector, consultancy, international development and with donor organisations.
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)
On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
Module Specific Skills and  Knowledge:
1 Explain the key role of politics in mineral resource governance and sustainable development;
2 Evaluate theories and debates around sustainable development and mining and the practical implications in developed and developing countries;
3 Apply theories of corruption, good/poor governance and economic reform to mineral resource policies in both developing and developed countries;
4 Articulate the different impact of Large Scale and Artisanal and Small-scale mining in changing political contexts;
5 Discuss the intersection of mineral resources in fragile states and conflict affected regions;
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
6 Identify the challenges, opportunities and strength of national and international mineral resource governance policies;
7 Critically discuss the political economy of mineral resources;
8 Apply theories of corruption, governance and economic reforms to mining policies in developed and developing countries;
Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and Knowledge:
8 Gain specific knowledge that will enable students to pursue further academic studies, work in international development, private and public sectors;
9 Communicate effectively through oral presentation, research and writing and ability to effectively monitor, critically analyse and report on issues related to mining and politics.
SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

1 Introduction to Sustainable Development, Politics and Sustainable Mining:

- Introduction to politics and it links with mining;

- Intersection between Sustainable Development, Mining and Politics;

2 Mining and Politics: Past, Present and Future:

- Scramble for mineral resources from colonization to present days;

- States and their role in mineral resources governance;

- Mining and its impact on political regimes and state capacity;

- Understanding political legacy and impacts on mining;

3 Political Economy of Mineral Resources – Governance:

- Mineral Resource governance in developing and developed countries;

- Contract negotiations and state capacity;

- Government policies towards the management of natural resources:

- Corruption, good governance and economic reform of mining policies;

- Mining, conflict and the resource curse;

4 Political Economy of Mineral Resources – Transparency and Accountability:

- Mining and Politics: Impacts and outcomes;

- Mining policy and governance frameworks-From theory to practice;

- International and national governance initiatives;

- Transparency and Accountability-Global report initiatives and transparency initiatives;

5 International Best Practice in Mining:

- Environmental management and state capacity;

- Sustainable mining goals and implementation challenges;

6 Mining, Biodiversity Conservation, Human Rights and Community Development:

- Gender and mining;

- Social, environmental and economic impact of mining and community engagement;

- Mining and indigenous communities-Free-Prior and Informed Consent;

- Health and safety in mining areas;

7 Sustainable Mining - Opportunities and Challenges:

- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR);

- Social movements, Social License to Operate (SLO), and local politics;

- Stakeholder relations and management;

- International governance initiatives and local realities;

8 Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Society:

- Introduction to Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM)

- Challenges and opportunities presented by ASM;

- ASM, Sustainable Development and community participation;

- ASM impact on political stability;

9 Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining:

- Blood diamonds and diamonds for development;

- ASM, environmental governance and health and Safety;

- ASM and Sustainable Development: local employment and livelihoods opportunities;

- Clashes between ASM and large scale mining;

10 Mining, Environmental Challenges, Social Development and Sustainable Solutions:

- Mining and climate change-Current challenges and possible solutions;

- The role of political leaders in creating an enabling environment for sustainable mining;

- Opportunities for aligning mining activities to the sustainable development goals.

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 70.00 Guided Independent Study 180.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 40 Introduction to lectures, presentations and discussions
Scheduled Student Presentations and Simulations 30 Student presentations - students work in groups of 2-4 and present on a given topic. For the simulations exercise, group size will vary depending on the size of the class
Guided Independent Study 20 Coursework with ongoing support and guidance from CSM staff
Guided Independent Study 160 Reading, research and preparation for seminars and assignment 


FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Drop-in sessions and regularly scheduled group meetings  Variable 1-10 Verbal


Coursework 100 Written Exams 0 Practical Exams 0
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Individual/Group Presentation  20 15 minutes 1-7 Written and oral
Individual Essay 1 20 2,000 words 1-7 Written
Individual Essay 2 40 3,000 words 1-7 Written
Simulation 10 4 hours 1-7 Written and oral
Participation and contribution to lecture 10 11 weeks 1-7 Oral


DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Essay and Presentation of Paper New Assignment 1-7 May



All referral marks capped at 50%.

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred for the presentation, you will complete a written summary of your presentation. Where you have been referred/deferred for the Essay, you will complete a written assignment.

INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic Reading:


Reading List for this module to be included on ELE.

Web based and Electronic Resources:

Diallo, P. (2017), Social Insecurity, Stability and the Politics in West Africa: A Case Study of Artisanal and Small-Scale Diamond Mining in Guinea, 1958-2008. The Extractive Industries and Society.

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Richards, J. (Ed.) Mining, Society, and a Sustainable World Springer-Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg 2010 [Library]
Set Alao, A. Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa: The Tragedy of Endowment Rochester: University of Rochester Press 2007 [Library]
Set Diallo, P. Social Insecurity, Stability and the Politics in West Africa: A Case Study of Artisanal and Small-Scale Diamond Mining in Guinea, 1958-2008 The Extractive Industries and Society 2017 [Library]
Set Shen, L., Muduli, K. and Brave, A. Developing a Sustainable Development Framework in the Context of Mining Industries: AHP Approach Resources Policy, Elsevier [Library]
Set Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & World Economic Forum (WEF) Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas Geneva: World Economic Forum 2016 [Library]
Set Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A Review of Key Numbers and Issues Winnipeg: IISD 2017 [Library]
ORIGIN DATE Tuesday 02 April 2019 LAST REVISION DATE Wednesday 09 September 2020
KEY WORDS SEARCH Sustainable Mining; Political Economy of Mining; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining; Social License to Operate (SLO); Mining and Human Rights