Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Mining enterprises and regional economic development: an exploratory analysis of the sustainable development model

Di Boscio, Nicolas (2010) Mining enterprises and regional economic development: an exploratory analysis of the sustainable development model. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Towards the end of the 1990s, and in response to increasing global condemnation, the mining industry adopted sustainable development (SD) principles and standards through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. This approach not only proposed a dramatic change in the operating practices of large mining houses, but also suggested a grand vision for the industry as a long term catalyser of local economic growth. This research now investigates the effect that mining enterprises which operate under these principles have on sub-national economic development. In doing so, it undertakes multiple case-study analysis, focussing on a single firm, Rio Tinto, and covers three of its subsidiary companies at various stages of development. Consistent with claims by mining advocates, this work confirms the frequently striking importance that large mines have for sub-national economies. However, this investigation disagrees with the emphasis typically attributed to each stream of benefits and brings attention back to the use that mining cash flows are put to. More generally, the study argues that the potential for large mining firms to trigger endogenous growth has been underestimated. On the one hand, these enterprises can contribute distinctly to local capital accumulation; on the other, under certain circumstances, they can also help sustain increases in local productivity endogenously. Indeed; while local preconditions will determine socioeconomic outcomes to a significant degree, mining companies can play a critical part in economic planning and the building of innovative institutions, which could, in turn, help increase the underlying local rate of technological absorption, human capital and overall capacity for economic governance. This entails a drastic (and controversial) change from the role previously assumed by companies. Yet, this study also concludes that, in some other cases, SD has promoted unattainable economic expectations. In these cases, minimising the local impact of mining would be a more advisable economic strategy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2010 Nicolas Di Boscio
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics