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Mining amid armed conflict: nonferrous metals mining in the Philippines

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In recent years the government of the Philippines has attempted to accelerate the growth of the nation's economy by encouraging the extraction of its mineral resources by multinational corporations. The Philippines is also a nation beset by armed violence carried out by anti-state groups. This article discusses how the presence, and activities, of these groups generate problems for a mining-based development paradigm. The article examines: the literature on the topic of natural resource abundance and conflict, how there have been attacks upon mines by armed groups, how mining companies have served as a target of extortion, how grievances related to mining can act as a source of conflict, how mining could disrupt the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and how mines are accompanied by a militarization of the area in their vicinity. Ultimately, violence is a manifestation of poverty and social exclusion inherent in Philippine society. Mining may not diminish, and indeed may increase, this poverty and social exclusion. Unless poverty and social exclusion is alleviated the violence will continue and alternative efforts to develop the Philippine economy will be precluded.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography/Program of Environmental Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N-1N4 ( ), Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N-1N4 ( ), Email:

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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