About the Book


Mining, sustainability and the Agents of Change

(Routledge Studies of the Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development)

The products of mining are everywhere - if it wasn't grown, it was mined or drilled. But the mining industry has a chequered past. Pollution, human rights abuses, and corruption have tarnished the reputation of the industry across the globe. Over a decade ago the major mining companies embraced the concept of sustainable and equitable development and embarked on an explicit process of reform - but has the industry actually changed?

This book explores the dynamics of change-making for sustainable development in the resources sector, specifically the mining of mineral and energy resources. The author recounts the stories and insights of over forty change-makers both inside and outside the industry, from anti-mining activists to the professionals charged with the task of reform, introducing the people who are moving an industry that moves mountains. The book takes stock of what has worked and what has not, analyzing the relative influence and dynamics of the key corporate, civil society and government actors with a view to developing new approaches for improving environmental and social outcomes from mineral and energy development.

Illustrated with case studies from Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and The United States of America, and brimming with the backstories to the major sustainability initiatives, Mountain Movers reveals where progress has been made and where reform is still needed towards a more sustainable and equitable mining industry. 

Expansive and compelling, Franks delves into the heart of industry change – and finds that it is the people. A blueprint for the next necessary wave of extractive industry reform.
— Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum and Former Vice-President & Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, World Bank Group.
Mountain Movers documents the important progress made in recent years in the global mining industry and the urgent and continuing need for further reform.
— Keith Slack, Global Program Manager, Extractive Industries, Oxfam America.
A sobering and powerful account... Mountain Movers beautifully and dispassionately takes us through the shades and colorations of mining, the paradoxes confronting the sector, the motivations for change, the unattended frustrations, the mountains still to climb, and the gains achieved so far.
— Antonio Pedro, Spearhead of the Africa Mining Vision and Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa.