This roundtable, co-organized by UBC and SFU’s programs in Latin American Studies, was held November 17, 2011, 3-5pm, Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University.
Invited speakers were:
- David Deisley, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and General Counsel, Goldcorp
- Steve Stewart, Program Director, CoDevelopment Canada, and Mining Justice Alliance
- Marcello Veiga, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, UBC
- Moderated by Jon Beasley-Murray, Latin American Studies, UBC.
For centuries, Latin America’s mineral resources have lured adventurers and entrepreneurs. From Columbus and the Conquistadors to nineteenth-century gold rushes and today’s multinationals, the promise of precious metals has drawn outsiders to the region.
The implications of mining have always been complicated, not least in a region in which indigenous rights and livelihoods are at stake, and where the environmental consequences can be enormous. And yet we have all depended upon the products of mining: from the silver that fuelled the industrial revolution to the lithium that powers our cellphones and electric cars.
Canada and Canadian firms are at the forefront of the mining industry. And some of the major firms with Latin American interests have their headquarters here in Vancouver. At times they have run into resistance and protest, both here and in the countries in which they operate. Yet the mining companies themselves are anxious to show they have a “social license” to operate, and to prove that they provide economic benefit at minimal environmental and social cost.
So what is the politics of mining today? What are the ethical considerations that guide (or should guide) resource extraction in Latin America? What is Canada’s role? What should ordinary Canadians think about the corporations that fly the flag south of the border and deep into the subsoil?
Listen to the discussion
Streaming Version - 2 hrs, 2 mins
Download the Audio File
88 MB MP3 - 2 hrs, 2 mins
This recording may also be streamed and downloaded from the Internet Archive.