Critical Minerals: Corporate Social Responsibility and to What We Owe to Each Other

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This paper delves into the complex dynamics of mineral extraction in Myanmar, a country rich in diverse mineral resources. Myanmar has recently witnessed a surge in foreign investment and trade in its mining sector, particularly in what are called "critical minerals". The demand for these minerals, driven by global trends including electric vehicle production, has led to increased extraction activities, and has made Myanmar the world's third-largest critical mineral producer. However, this growth has brought forth multifaceted challenges, including human rights violations, environmental degradation, and social conflict. Myanmar's governance of the extractive industries is marked by instability and lack of transparency. Despite new legislation mandating environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and the need for responsible corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice, illegal mining persists, which causes harm to both the environment and to local communities. Drawing on Canada's significant role in the global critical mineral market, this study offers key policy considerations to ensure ethical and sustainable mineral extraction abroad. The importance of diplomatic engagement with host countries, stringent environmental regulations and adherence to human rights standards is underscored. Through these practices, Canada can contribute to global resource security, foster sustainable development, and uphold human rights in mineral-rich nations. These priorities align with the nation's commitment to combat climate change and promote ethical mining practices.
Mineral extraction, critical minerals, social corporate responsibility, sustainable development, climate change, diplomatic engagement
Faber, A. (2023). Critical Minerals: Corporate Social Responsibility and to What We Owe to Each Other (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.