Transatlantic Mining Corporations in the Age of Resource Nationalism - David Humphreys

Transatlantic Mining Corporations in the Age of Resource Nationalism

By David Humphreys

  • Release Date: 2012-06-19
  • Genre: Science & Nature


Discussion of geopolitical issues is, not unnaturally, normally cast in the language of nation states. However, the business of securing mineral supplies for a nation's industries, whether to promote its economic development or ensure its security, has in the West typically been the preserve of the private sector. Moreover, given that minerals are unevenly distributed around the globe, and that many industrial countries lack domestic resources of all the mineral materials they need, very frequently they have to look overseas to make up their supplies. Things are changing in the mining sector. The ability of the large Western miners to expand out beyond the English-speaking regions is being constrained by a resurgence of resource nationalism. This is creating rising barriers to entry in many mineral-rich countries and resulting in the preference for local over foreign developers. The companies are also increasingly being challenged on the world stage by companies based out of emerging market countries, some of which have significant state backing. This paper examines these trends and considers their implications for transatlantic mining companies and for the availability of mineral supplies in Europe and North America. It concludes with some observations on public policy.