Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Ethical minerals: Fairer trade for whom?

Hilson, G., Hilson, A., McQuilken, J. (2016) Ethical minerals: Fairer trade for whom? Resources Policy, 49 . pp. 232-247. ISSN 0301-4207. (doi:10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.05.002) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:80600)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL:


This paper offers preliminary reflections on the direction and impact of the emerging 'ethical minerals' agenda, focusing specifically on the case of sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past two decades, the mining industry in this region has experienced profound change, reshaped by large injections of foreign investment. During this period, host governments have redrafted fiscal policies in an attempt to attract multinational mining and exploration companies. These moves, however, have stifled the regularization of artisanal and small-scale mine operators, hundreds of thousands of whom have struggled to secure their own permits due to a lack of available land, the exorbitant costs of legalizing their activities, and excessively-bureaucratic registration processes. Ethical mineral schemes and standards, which seek to connect producers to consumers, have been championed as potential mechanisms for alleviating the hardships of these operators. But further analysis reveals that there is considerable discrepancy between the implied and at times, stated, aims and impacts of the interventions being piloted/implemented in the region on the one hand, and what is actually happening in practice on the other hand. The analysis serves as a stark reminder that the ethical mineral schemes and standards being piloted/implemented are not development interventions, as is often believed. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.05.002
Uncontrolled keywords: Commerce; Investments; Minerals, Artisanal and small scale mining; Exploration company; Fair Trade; Foreign investment; Potential mechanism; Poverty; Registration process; Sub-saharan africa, Philosophical aspects, artisanal mining; ethics; mining industry; poverty; small scale mining; trade, Sub-Saharan Africa
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Tracey Pemble
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2020 14:55 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.