The legacy of the mining industry is destruction of land and pollution of air and water. Conventional wisdom also suggests that international mining firms will locate where environmental legislation is most lax. However, this picture — of mining firms operating with little regard for nature or local populations — is no longer accurate. Protection of the environment, of mine workers, and of nearby communities has become nearly as much a concern as putting "rock in the box."
Mining and the Environment shows how mining firms that are the most efficient in extracting minerals are also better at protecting the environment. The book presents case studies from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, and the United States, and provides an excellent overview of the interactions between environmental regulation, innovation, and sustainable development. It shows that the environmental performance of mining firms is not entirely dependent on government legislation.
Corporate attitudes are changing, government policies are changing, civil society is changing, and the business environment is changing. Mining and the Environment examines these changes and what they mean for the future of the mining industry and the well-being of our environment.
Alyson Warhurst is Professor of Environmental Strategy at the School of Management, University of Bath, Director of the International Centre for the Environment (ICE), and Director of the international Mining and Environment Research Network (MERN).