School of Geography - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 185
Keeping the family silver: The changing meanings and uses of Manchester's civic plate
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-06-14)
This article explores the shifting uses and meanings of Manchester civic plate, a huge silver dining service purchased in 1877 to coincide with the opening of the city’s neo-Gothic Town Hall. The authors explore how the silver collection has successively forged relations with a host of different people, places and objects, exemplifying the changing processes through which objects are understood, utilized, valued, maintained, stored and curated. Three key processes are deployed to illuminate these shifting entanglements: the use of the silver to express municipal prestige and advance particular cultural values, the maintenance procedures that have responded to the silver’s vital material constituency and practices of display, storage and curation. In accounting for these diverse and volatile processes, the article argues for the virtues of theoretical breadth in exploring the multiplicities of material culture.
Global-scale remote sensing of mine areas and analysis of factors explaining their extent
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2020-01-01)
Mines are composed of features like open cut pits, water storage ponds, milling infrastructure, waste rock dumps, and tailings storage facilities that are often associated with impacts to surrounding areas. The size and location of mine features can be determined from satellite imagery, but to date a systematic analysis of these features across commodities and countries has not been conducted. We created detailed maps of 295 mines producing copper, gold, silver, platinum group elements, molybdenum, lead-zinc, nickel, uranium or diamonds, representing the dominant share of global production of these commodities. The mapping entailed the delineation and classification of 3,736 open pits, waste rock dumps, water ponds, tailings storage facilities, heap leach pads, milling infrastructure and other features, totalling ~3,633 km2. Collectively, our maps highlight that mine areas can be highly heterogeneous in composition and diverse in form, reflecting variations in underlying geology, commodities produced, topography and mining methods. Our study therefore emphasises that distinguishing between specific mine features in satellite imagery may foster more refined assessments of mine-related impacts. We also compiled detailed annual data on the operational characteristics of 129 mines to show via regression analysis that the sum area of a mine's features is mainly explained by its cumulative production volume (cross-validated R2 of 0.73). This suggests that the extent of future mine areas can be estimated with reasonable certainty based on expected total production volume. Our research may inform environmental impact assessments of new mining proposals, or provide land use data for life cycle analyses of mined products.
Rendering mine closure governable and constraints to inclusive development in the Andean region
(Elsevier BV, 2021-08-01)
Although the early stages of mining are often associated with promises of socioeconomic development based on economic growth, limited oversight of mine closure practices has tended to deliver lingering social, economic, and environmental problems across the Andean region. New and revised legislation, policies, and regulations that address mine closure in the region demonstrate what I argue are attempts to render mine closure governable—that is, the circumscribing of mine closure as an ‘intelligible’ and strictly technical problem, amenable to state intervention, without challenging existing bureaucratic processes or political economic structures. Such narrow framings of mine closure exclude possibilities for local consultation and participation, and, by extension, hinder the relationship between mine closure and a more socioeconomically inclusive and less environmentally damaging form of post-mine development. I outline discrete attempts to make mine closure more easily governable in the Andean region, with detailed focus on the cases of Colombia and Chile, and show that this process also tends to render local populations invisible. I point to the conspicuous disconnect between high hopes for mining's contribution to Andean states' economic growth and concrete possibilities for post-mine development based on ideas of equity, inclusion, and social justice. I conclude by pointing to the need for legal and regulatory institutions in the Andean region that more actively facilitate the creation and distribution of benefits, services, and livelihood opportunities following mine closure.
Socio-environmental Conflict, Political Settlements, and Mining Governance: A Cross-Border Comparison, El Salvador and Honduras
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2019-03-01)
During the mid-2000s, Honduras and El Salvador implemented mining moratoria. By 2017 El Salvador had legislated a globally unprecedented ban on all forms of metal mining, while in Honduras mining was expanding aggressively. These neighboring countries present the explanatory challenge of understanding the distinct trajectories of mining policy and politics. These divergent pathways can be explained by the interactions between the political economy of subsoil resources, national political settlements, and the ways in which diverse actors have taken advantage (or not) of openings in these settlements. A mediados de la década del 2000, Honduras y El Salvador implementaron moratorias mineras. Para el 2017, El Salvador había legislado una prohibición sin precedentes a nivel mundial de todas las formas de minería de metales, mientras que en Honduras la minería se estaba expandiendo agresivamente. Estos países vecinos presentan el desafío explicativo de comprender las distintas trayectorias de la política minera y la política. Estas vías divergentes pueden explicarse por las interacciones entre la economía política de los recursos del subsuelo, los acuerdos políticos nacionales y las formas en que diversos actores han aprovechado (o no) las aperturas en estos acuerdos.
Troubling the idealised pageantry of extractive conflicts: Comparative insights on authority and claim-making from Papua New Guinea, Mongolia and El Salvador
(PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2021-04-01)
This article challenges simplified and idealised representation of conflicts between corporations, states and impacted populations in the context of extractive industries. Through comparative discussion of mineral extraction in Papua New Guinea, Mongolia and El Salvador, we argue that strategies of engagement over the terms of extraction vary significantly as a result of the interaction between relations of authority and recognition in the context of specific projects and the national political economy of mining. As mineral extraction impinges on their lands, livelihoods, territories and senses of the future, affected populations face the uncertain question of how to respond and to whom to direct these responses. Strategies vary widely, and can involve confrontation, litigation, negotiation, resignation, and patronage. These strategies are targeted at companies, investors, the national state, local government, multilateral institutions, and international arbitrators. We argue that the key to understanding how strategies emerge to target different types and scales of authority, lies ultimately with inherited geographies of state presence and strategic absence. This factor shapes the construction of “community” claim-making in relation to state and non-state authorities, and calculations regarding the relative utility of claiming rights or mobilizing relationships as a means of seeking redress, compensation or benefit sharing. In the context of plural opportunities for claim-making, we query whether plurality is more emancipatory or, ironically, more constricting for impacted populations. In response to this question, we argue that “community” strategies tend to be more effective where they remain linked in some way to the territorial and legislative structure of the national state.