Most people who are born and brought up in a mining community know the Benefits and disadvantages it has to offer. Parts of them decide early on that they would grow up to be miners. For them, it is a tradition to carry on. It is the work their ancestors did so they would too. While others realise that mining is not the career they want and they leave the community as early as possible for them. And then there is a third party, people who transfer to a mining community because it is the sole way to earn a decent living.
When you live in a land that cannot grow any produce nor has no other job opportunities, mining is the only way to be compensated for your skills. In such hard conditions, it becomes imperative that these people have all the benefits that can be provided to them. This has led to a number of countries and states demanding higher equity and royalties for mining communities. They are asking mining companies for more social and financial benefits and channelling them into areas that can be turned into economic opportunities for miners.
Both governments and mining communities need to demand and seek a more significant part of the revenue from mining companies. They need to go over mining agreements and secure a better financial and economic benefit. This should cover both increases in royalties and taxes the companies have to pay. But an increase in revenue earned from the company is one face of the coin. The flipside of the coin needs to be regulated too. The benefits gained from mining businesses can only help a community if they are allocated and distributed in the correct manner.
The advantages gained by the miners require equal division throughout the community. The lack of which can lead to a higher risk for the company. Locals can up-rise and refuse to work further. They can protest against the unequal distribution and then demand further reimbursements. These are social risks that most companies tend to overlook. While the community as the right to ask for benefits, the company has the right to see its division and allocation. If left unchecked, the consequences can be daunting. From projects being closed down to violent action been taken by the fraction of the community that feels cheated, anything is possible.
The good news is most mining companies have recognised the value of distributing benefits and doing it in a sense that is alike for all. Governments, authorities and local law agents are working along with corporations on issues like:
• land access
• relocation of people
• harm to indigenisation
• managing economic opportunities
• Reducing the threat of corruption
This alignment of officials of the country and executives of the firm has maximised the chances of growth and development members of mining community have now. We need to carry on this path to ensure mining communities have the same prospects as other around the world.