The scope for an anthropology of mining has been dramatically transformed since the review by Ricardo Godoy, published in this review journal in 1985. The minerals boom of the 1980s led to an aggressive expansion of mine development in greenfield areas, many of them the domains of indigenous communities. Under considerable pressure, the conventional binary contest between states and corporations over the benefits and impacts of mining has been widened to incorporate the representations of local communities, and broad but unstable mining communities now coalesce around individual projects. Focused primarily on projects in developing nations of the Asia-Pacific region, this review questions the often-monolithic characterizations of state, corporate, and community forms of agency and charts the debate among anthropologists involved in mining, variously as consultants, researchers, and advocates, about appropriate terms for their engagement.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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