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Resources for the fight against mining

To help organizations and individuals inform themselves about mines and mining, AIDA has created a mining resources page. We have brought together and will continue to synthesize a list of useful references and resources for groups and individuals looking to educate themselves about the mining industry, mines, and their environmental, economic, and social impacts.


General mining

Framework for Responsible Mining (pdf, 1.04 MB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. A guide to best practices for hard rock mining. The Center for Science in Public Participation.

Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Ch9 (pdf, 454 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Recommendations for mining and sustainable development re: local communities. The International Institute for the Environment and Development.

Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development Ch16 (pdf, 309 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Recommendations for change and broad measures for sustainability in mining. The International Institute for the Environment and Development.

Impacto Ambiental y SocioEconomico en Obuasi (doc, 27 KB). SPANISH ONLY. A written response generated by several African communities to a study on the effects of mining in their area by Anglo-Gold Ashanti. TWN-Africa.

Explotaciones Mineras en Chile (doc, 77 KB). SPANISH ONLY. Two case studies of Canadian companies in Chile and legal action taken by communities. Cesar Padilla, OLCA, for Mining Watch Canada.

Documenting Accountability (pdf, 128 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. A study on EIAs showing their form can take precendence over content, and their structure is pro-mining. Fabiana Li.

Behind Gold’s Glitter (doc, 66 KB.) ENGLISH ONLY. Overview of gold mining impacts and the state of the industry with examples from Montana, Guatemala, and Ghana. Jane Perlez and Kirk Johnson, New York Times.

Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America (pdf, 588 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. A report on Canadian involvement in Latin America, human rights, critical of the CSR paradigm and MMSD. Tim Clark.

Tarnished Gold (pdf, 373 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. An indictment of IFC policies, citing evidence of mining's failure to promote sustainable development at several mines. The Bank Information Center, Oxfam International, Earthworks, Campagna Per La Riforma Della Banca Mondiale, and the Bretton Woods Project.

Peru’s Yanacocha Goldmine- IFC’s Midas Touch (pdf, 53 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. History and problems at the largest goldmine in Latin America. Shanna Langdon, Project Underground.

Dirty Metals (pdf, 2.9 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Cases and examples of mining and impacts on communities and the environment. Earthworks and Oxfam America.

"AIDA co-director sees climate urgency in mining issues" (pdf, 105 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Anna Cederstav talks with EcoAméricas' George Hatch about AIDA's efforts to stop harmful mining projects. George Hatch, EcoAméricas.


Policy and finance

Bolivian mining law seen as environmental retreat (pdf, 659 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISHEcoAméricas.

Glamis Gold Case Study (pdf, 141 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Case history of the issues surrounding the Imperial Valley mine in CA, Glamis suing the US government for expropriating profit through NAFTA. Oxfam America and Friends of the Earth.

Peru: Mining Companies Make Fortunes Tax Free (doc, 38 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. An article on the revenues lost to Peru from investor friendly policies. Milagros Salazar.

Invertiendo en la Destrucción (doc, 317 KB). SPANISH ONLY. A description of the effects of WTO agreements on extractive industries, highlighting effects of NAFTA, and case studies from several Latin American and African Countries. Oxfam America.

World Bank Extractive Industries Review- Lessons Learned and Promptly Ignored (pdf, 215 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. A criticism of the World Bank Extractive Industries Review and how its recommendations were not followed. The Halifax Initiative.

Mining Investors (pdf, 1.77 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Describes the nature of corporations and investments,  and serves as a guide for investor-related campaigns against mining operations. Mining Watch Canada.

Cumulative Impacts RoD (pdf, 675 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. Record of NPS decision to acquire all mining concessions in Denali National Park, AK, covering policy history and alternatives considered. US National Park Service.

NorthMet Scoping Decision (pdf, 87 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. A scoping decision for a mining project; for example purposes.


Socio-economic impacts

Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine (pdf, 1 MB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. This report by economists Lyuba Zarsky and Leonardo Stanley examines the economic benefits and environmental risks of the Marlin mine in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala, and concludes that overall, long-term environmental risks significantly outweigh the economic benefits of the mine. Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University.

Extractive Sectors and the Poor (pdf, 2 MB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. The study shows correlations between extractive industry based economies (oil and minerals) and poverty, poor quality growth, risk of civil war, poor governance, and more. Michael Ross for Oxfam America.

Empleo y Desarrollo (doc, 33 KB). SPANISH ONLY. An article with some statistics on the mining industries contribution to employment and GDP figures in several Latin American countries. ‘El Otro Rostro de la Minería’.

Metals, Mining and Sustainable Development in Central America (pdf, 969 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. Broad focus on economic and social effects of mining; general recommendations. Thomas Power for Oxfam America.

Boom to Bust (pdf, 1.6 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. General discussion of boom to bust economics and social consequences, focusing on British Columbia. The Pembina Institute.


Environmental and technical resources

Basic Guidelines for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Mining Projects: Recommended Terms of Reference. (pdf, 905 KB) SPANISH ONLYInteramerican Association for Environmental Defense.

Predictions and Promises (pdf, 388 KB). ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Points out flaws and holes in the EIA of a mine in Esquel Argentina. Robert Moran for Greenpeace Argentina and the Mineral Policy Center.

Minería de Oro a Cielo (doc, 50 KB). SPANISH ONLY. Explanation of open pit mining and use of cyanide in gold extraction, with lists of negative environmental effects. AECO-AT.

Impactos Ambientales en la Minería (doc, 51 KB). SPANISH ONLY. General discussion of environmental impacts, argues that these impacts are not accounted for economically in the calculation of costs. Robert Moran.

Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality (pdf, 1.4 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Case studies on 25 mines comparing predicted and actual water quality. Ann Maest and James Kuipers with Kimberley MacHardy and Gregor Lawson.

Fact Sheet: Trace Elements in Mining Waste (pdf, 1.1 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Data on toxicity levels and production of certain elements and compounds in mining (As, Cd, Cu, CN, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn). The Center for Science in Public Participation.

Predicting Water Quality at Hard Rock Mines (pdf, 1 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Explanation of water quality prediction models, effectiveness, and causes for uncertainty. Ann Maest and James Kuipers with Constance Travers and David Atkins.

Hard Rock Mining: Acid Mine Drainage (pdf, 292 KB) ENGLISH ONLY. A fact sheet and basic overview of acid mine drainage. Earthworks.

False Promises (pdf, 1.4 MB). ENGLISH ONLY. Ten short cases studies of water contamination, showing the discrepancy between predictions and reality. The Western Mining Action Network.

Examples of Mines that Damaged Rivers (pdf, 246 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. Several brief case studies of mining accidents and environmental impacts related to rivers and fisheries. Mara Bacsujlaky.

Cyanide Uncertainties (pdf, 37 KB). ENGLISH ONLY. In mining related waters, the chemistry of cyanide and how it breaks down, analysis, and a case study from Kyrgystan. Robert Moran for the Mineral Policy Center.

Guidebook for Evaluating Mining Project EIAsENGLISH AND SPANISH. A guide to help communities and nonprofit organizations examine and critique mining project EIAs, with discussion of how the environmental impacts of mining projects can be reduced. Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide.



"Mineria contaminante a cielo abierto en Colombia" (video). SPANISH ONLY. This video, which features prominent members of the Colombian artistic community, was created to raise awareness about the damaging effects that large-scale mining projects are having on human and environmental health in Colombia.

“Time lapse photos showing the filling up of a closed mine pit to create a pit lake”