Many of the world’s mining giants call Australia home. In recent years, Australia has profited from a global mining boom which has seen the industry increase its activities both here and overseas. More and more, the Australian mining industry is active in countries where corruption is rife and conflict is an ever-present risk.
It’s been a modern-day gold rush and great for our economy, but scratch the glittering surface and you’ll see that not everyone is benefitting.
Mining companies that don’t respect human rights or protect the environment may cause harm to the communities living around their operations. And it’s the most vulnerable — women and indigenous people — who are worst affected.
Sure, mining companies can stimulate economic growth and bring prosperity — and we welcome that — but without a commitment to human rights and sustainability they can also cause people to lose their land and way of life, while irreparably damaging the environment. What’s more, without a commitment to transparency, the taxes that mining companies pay to governments may not be used for essential services like schools and hospitals.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
How we work
Oxfam is lobbying Australian mining companies, financial institutions and the Australian government to make sure people come before profits. We’re also helping affected communities understand their rights to a decent livelihood and a clean environment, and to demand that companies allow them to have a say about mining projects in their area.
Our work is focused on:
- the gender impacts of mining
- human rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consent
- community-company grievance mechanisms
- doing business in conflict zones
- revenue transparency
We have a particular interest in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the countries of Africa.
Who we work with
We are an active member of the Publish What You Pay Australian coalition, the Australian Corporate Accountability Network and OECD Watch. We work closely with Jubilee Australia, Transparency International Australia and the Diplomacy Training Program.
- Read our reports and submissions
- Free, prior and informed consent
Learn more about free, prior and informed consent in Australia and read our community guide to FPIC.
- PNG listening project
Learn about the impacts of a major LNG project on communities in Papua New Guinea.
Read our case study.
- Read our communique from the 2012 Sustainable Mining Symposium, Sustainable mining: managing corruption risks and revenue transparency