Raw Materials Working Group News February 2014

 

  1. The link between the Extractive Industry and Land Grabbing

 

The Gaia Foundation has published in 2012 an interesting report 'Opening Pandora's Box ' that makes links between Extractive Industry and Land Grabbing. The report shows how the extractive industry is expanding its activity in many countries and occupying great lands extension. This activity is supported by governments in developing countries and it is the result of the convergence of economic, political, and geographical factors. While Western countries are controlling natural resources in Africa, there are a lot of evidence showing that the depletion of the planet is causing mass species extinction, climate change and more.

 

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  1. Pembani Coal: A Misdirected Mine Case in Africa

 

The village of Euhleni is a little town of South Africa affected by the coal mining exploitation, but the suffering of the villagers is happening in many other towns in Africa as well. The people of this village are suffering the consequences of the extractive company Pembany Coal Group (a cluster of companies) since 2004 and the lives of their villagers are gradually deteriorated. People in this land used to work as farmers and many of them used to graze their own cattle. After the mining activities started they have lost the land, their livelihood and suffered the damages caused by the extractive activity.

 

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  1. Arm Wrestling  Niger-Areva

 

Disputes persist between AREVA (80% owned by the French state) and Niger on the renegotiation of mining contracts. Protests multiply in Niamey to demand better revenue sharing of uranium extraction by increased taxation. Uranium is one of the sources of incomes of the country. Pressure rises because of the renewal of the operating contract of the Nigerian uranium which has turned the industrial French AREVA into a privileged but equally a criticized partner. Niger is a critical strategic ally of France in the region, but its goal is to balance the relations between both countries with more benefits for Niger.  

 

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