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Problems with Reporting and Evaluating Mining Industry Community Development Projects: A Case Study from Tanzania

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Author(s): Jody Emel | Madoshi H. Makene | Esther Wangari

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 257;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: corporate social responsibility | community development | gold mining | Tanzania

ABSTRACT
Reporting on contributions to community development is one way gold mining companies communicate the expanse and depth of their commitment to social responsibility. These projects are intended to provide the mine-proximate communities with some of the wealth and other benefits generated by mine development in their locales. We raise questions about reporting and evaluation of community development projects undertaken by AngloGold Ashanti in the two communities of Nyakabale and Nyamalembo, near its Geita mining projects in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Tanzania. We use archival data and data obtained from field research conducted during different periods throughout 2005, 2007 and 2010 to compare what the company reports to have done with what is found on the ground. Our findings revealed that the corporate reporting is misleading, ambiguous, and omissive. Much of the effort labeled “community development” benefited the companies directly via infrastructure development, food supplies to the mine cafeteria, and worker health. We argue that, if Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects are to be the primary way local people directly benefit from mine development, the relationship between the value of those projects and the wealth taken from the location should be considered, community projects should be well defined and differentiated from company-oriented projects, and community representatives should participate in monitoring the success and impact of community development projects.

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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