Prime Canadian mining corporations raked in revenues of $143 billion in 2021

By | November 30, 2022
Canadian mining
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Prime Canadian mining corporations raked in revenues of $143 billion in 2021

In August 2022, the Canadian Mining Journal—a reliably pro-corporate trade journal—revealed its record of Canada’s prime 40 mining corporations primarily based on 2021 revenues.

To benefit inclusion on the record, corporations wanted to fulfill two of the next three standards: 1) be domiciled in Canada, 2) commerce on a Canadian inventory change, and three) have a major share of an working mine or superior growth in Canada.

The overwhelming majority of the highest 40 corporations are headquartered in Canada: 36 out of 40.
In whole, Canada’s prime 40 mining corporations raked in revenues of $143 billion in 2021, up from $124 billion in 2020.

This implies, based on World Financial institution knowledge, that the 2021 earnings of Canada’s largest mining corporations exceed the full GDP of each nation in Africa besides 4 (Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa).

In different phrases, the full worth extracted by the 40 largest Canadian mining corporations in a single 12 months is extra beneficial than the whole GDP of fifty of Africa’s 54 UN-recognized international locations.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, mining was designated a vital service, and the trade continued to extract substantial quantities of minerals whereas different sectors of the financial system stalled.

Nevertheless, lots of the Canadian corporations within the prime forty function primarily abroad, in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In truth, 19 of the highest 40 corporations didn’t function a single mine in Canada in 2021, whereas ten operated just one mine within the nation by which they’re registered.

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Three of the highest ten profit-makers—First Quantum Minerals (fifth place), Kinross Gold (eighth place), Lundin Mining (ninth place)—didn’t function any mines in Canada in 2021.

First Quantum raised $9 billion in income final 12 months—greater than the GDP of Mauritania, the place it owns 100% of the worthwhile Guelb Moghrein mine. Kinross Gold made $4.6 billion from investments in america, Brazil, Chile, and Mauritania. And Lundin Mining introduced in $4.1 billion from its predominantly Latin American operations.

On the identical time, the Canadian mining sector is making an attempt to rebrand itself as a sustainable and ecologically aware trade main the nationwide name for reconciliation.

One side of that is the trade’s fixed references to ESG—surroundings, social, and governance issues—which based on Carolyn Burns is “a part of the continued dialogue in regards to the function of an organization in supporting a wholesome society, surroundings and financial system.”

Within the newest concern of Canadian Mining Journal, Mike Commito and Steve Gravel wrote that “Mining wants a rebrand… For a lot of, mining represents air pollution and degradation of the surroundings.” They could have additionally added imperialism and financial underdevelopment.

“If you happen to had been to ask somebody what they first consider after they hear the phrase mining, they could say belching smokestacks from smelter services or tailings ponds the place mine waste is saved.”

They could have additionally added the Canadian mining code advisors who’re a staple presence in lots of Latin American and African mining ministries.

Commito and Gravel write that, with a sustained promoting marketing campaign aimed toward reshaping public notion of mining, the trade’s picture might be dramatically improved. They be aware a latest advert marketing campaign by Dairy Farmers of Ontario as a mannequin:

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They conclude that “an advert marketing campaign with evocative storytelling and significant slogans like this… can successfully reset [negative] perceptions of the mining sector.”

Canadian mining corporations extract tens of billions of {dollars} from Latin America, Africa, and Asia whereas poverty charges in these areas stay crushingly excessive.

An trade advert marketing campaign aimed on the Canadian public adjustments nothing in regards to the realities of Canadian mining practices domestically and particularly within the International South—practices which enabled $143 billion of income in 2021.

This Canadian expropriation of worth is a part of the large, centuries-long extraction of useful resource and labour wealth from the International South by the North, a technique of legalized plunder that maintains world inequality to at the present time.

Alejandro Pedregal and Juan Bordera write that, between 1990 and 2015, the International North “appropriated embodied uncooked materials, hectares of land, power, and labor price $242 trillion, equal to 1 / 4 of its gross home product.

” In the meantime within the South, “2.2 billion folks can’t entry protected consuming water, 4.2 billion lack protected sanitation, 2 billion dwell in water-scarce international locations, 759 million haven’t any entry to electrical energy… and a couple of.6 billion proceed to lack clear methods to prepare dinner.”

Nearly all of the mining corporations within the prime forty function mines within the International South, and in most of those circumstances, these mines have been focal factors in native struggles in opposition to social, financial, and political alienation and underdevelopment.

And, in practically all circumstances, the Canadian state has both overtly supported the businesses or ignored their actions overseas.

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In brief, the Canadian mining trade doesn’t want a rebrand—it wants a actuality verify. It wants regulation. It must be held accountable for its abuses and for the substantial function it has performed within the appropriation of worth from the International South, which will definitely not occur beneath the Canadian authorities because it presently exists.

Owen Schalk is a author primarily based in Winnipeg. He’s primarily concerned about making use of theories of imperialism, neocolonialism, and underdevelopment to world capitalism and Canada’s function therein.

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