Abstract ore: Looks good but where the hell is it?

It always amazes me how investor relations people in mining still think that they exist in a bubble of like-minded colleagues and investors. This was prompted by looking at a mining company web site recently that listed their operations and projects but in not one of these descriptions did it say where they were. Plenty on deposit descriptions, mineralization zones, host rock..but not one word on even what country the operations are in. It is as though this is not relevant. You need to click several times to get down to discovering the physical location of the sites. A ‘lighter’ version of this is when a company only mentions the country that an operation is in but nothing on the region or the status of the surrounding communities. Given the mounting evidence on the cost of local conflicts for extractive projects (for an example, see Davis & Franks 2014) I would have thought that only concentrating on sovereign risk was a failure to disclose a very material issue to the investment. I am aware of several large mining companies who now undertake regular risk analyses of countries with potential for mining investment that include more fine-grained study of the local context. It seems astonishing to me that some companies still regard their government permits as sufficient license to operate.

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