The World Bank states that mining encompasses metals and minerals. It includes open-pit and underground mining, large scale operations as well activities of small scale. (World Bank.org). Many big and strong economies of the world have mineral and mining as very important sector in terms of job creation and contribution towards the overall GDP of a country. The economic benefits brought about by the mining industry to many economies, especially the developing countries are substantial. Due to mining activities, infrastructure developments are taking place and governments are able to get tax incomes which eventually go towards improving services to the people. In Recent years, minerals and mining has focused more on the south pacific Island countries in search of gold, copper and other valuable minerals.
Mining has contributed a lot to the economic progress of some of the South Pacific Islands countries. Papua New Guinea has some of the world class mining operations. There are still advanced mining operations in PNG. In the Solomon Islands, the only mining company currently doing mining is the Gold Ridge Mining. There are other mining activities that are still in the prospecting and exploration stages. For PNG, the mining industry contributed significantly to its economy, contributing towards employment, infrastructure building and tax revenue for the government. The trend of mining activities in PNG is growing and is growing fast. However, the negative impacts mining brought about must be considered also.
Negative impacts of mining are perhaps most felt and by pacific islands’ small states people. Environmental and social damages can are immense they seem, in short term, to outweigh the benefits. Forests are being cut down and destroyed, communities are losing fishing grounds, rivers and seas are being polluted, all in the name of development or economic activities yet schools and healthcare provision remain unimproved and governance institutions remains very weak. PNG has experiences some of the negative impacts more than Solomon does already. Solomon Islands begin to experience the negative impacts of mining activities with corruption, non-transparency around resource sharing and management and alike. The cyanide link few years back was a cause of concern/panic to the residences who live around the Gold Ridge area.
- Solomon Islands,
- Economic and Social Benefits of mining and mineral,
- Small States,
- Economic Growth,
- Social progress,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/knowledgeispower/30/