On December 5, at 3pm, the Center and the Commodity Club at Columbia Business School hosted a talk by Jon Samuel, Head of Social Performance for Anglo American, on “Investing in Growth: The Mining Industry’s Approach to Community Development,” at Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 940.
Mining environments can be complex. Many major mining projects, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, take place in impoverished regions with pre-existing development challenges, under-developed economies and vulnerable ecosystems. However, these major mines, if run responsibly, have the technical and financial capital not only to raise communities out of extreme poverty by improving traditional development indicators such as health, education, agricultural yield, nutrition, infrastructure, and gender equality, but to help ignite a viable market economy through a combination of employment, local purchasing, infrastructure investments, taxes and payments, training and extension programs.
Jon Samuel discussed how the mining industry has approached the challenge of community development, including whether, why and how mining companies are responsible for and/or can contribute to community development in their areas of operation. In that context, he also explained how Anglo American approaches this issue by providing an overview of the company’s small business development programmes, local procurement initiatives and Socio- Economic Assessment Toolbox. His talk was followed by a discussion with participants.