The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 4 29 AROUND THE REGION countries in Asia narrowed the gap against the global best performers which amounted to an overall catch up of about 7 per cent. Some of the largest relaঞve improvements have been in areas such as access to clean energy, ICT infrastructure and access to financial insঞtuঞons. Conversely, governance metrics in Asia worsened relaঞve to best-performing countries, consistent with the decline in absolute measure. What is not clear from these cross- country comparisons is the importance of the mining sector in driving these overall results. Many factors, ranging from urbanisaঞon through to government reforms, influence these socio-economic indicators, so isolaঞng the role of the mining sector can be difficult. To shed further light on the role of mining, ICMM analysed the socio- economic performance of subnaঞonal regions in selected countries, based on their relaঞve economic dependence on mining. The findings reveal that social progress in mining-dependent countries is also visible at the regional level, where at least three-quarters of the socio-economic metrics analysed advanced in absolute terms. The findings in this report have several potenঞal implicaঞons for policymakers and resource companies in Asia. The research clearly demonstrates that a resource curse is not an inevitable consequence of mineral wealth and that most mining-dependant countries have experienced significant social progress over the two decades before the UN introduced the SDGs. The analysis also suggests that there could be an important role for resource companies and governments to cooperate in promoঞng socio- economic progress. Performance gaps highlighted by this research could be a basis for resource companies, governments, communiঞes and civil society to think about new ways of engaging and supporঞng mining-dependent regions to improve the overall welfare of host populaঞons. Areas of subpar performance, such as governance and improved access to clean water and sanitaঞon, could be useful places to start. A resource curse is not necessarily desঞny. Thoughul partnerships between government and resource companies could ensure that Asia's mining-dependent countries see their rich resource endowments driving long-term sustainable development. Bingxun Seng is a consultant with AlphaBeta and Dr. Fraser Thompson is a Director with AlphaBeta. AlphaBeta supported the Internaonal Council on Mining Metals (ICMM) in the development of the Social Progress in Mining- dependent Countries report. The number of RDCs has increased by over 50% since 1995 Over 90 per cent of MDCs had per capita incomes below the global average in 1995. While a large number are catching up, the degree of catch up is quite slow. ©ICMM

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