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Many of the world’s mining giants call Australia home. In recent years, Australia has profited from a global mining boom which has seen the industry increase its activities both here and overseas.

More and more, the Australian mining industry is active in countries where corruption is rife and conflict is an ever-present risk.

It’s been a modern-day gold rush and great for our economy, but scratch the glittering surface and you’ll see that not everyone is benefitting.

Mining companies that don’t respect human rights or protect the environment may cause harm to the communities living around their operations. And it’s the most vulnerable — women and indigenous people — who are worst affected.

Sure, mining companies can stimulate economic growth and bring prosperity — and we welcome that — but without a commitment to human rights and sustainability they can also cause people to lose their land and way of life, while irreparably damaging the environment. What’s more, without a commitment to transparency, the taxes that mining companies pay to governments may not be used for essential services like schools and hospitals.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How we work

Oxfam is lobbying Australian mining companies, financial institutions and the Australian government to make sure people come before profits. We’re also helping affected communities understand their rights to a decent livelihood and a clean environment, and to demand that companies allow them to have a say about mining projects in their area.

Our work is focused on:

  • the gender impacts of mining
  • human rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consent
  • community-company grievance mechanisms
  • doing business in conflict zones
  • revenue transparency

Across Southern Africa, Oxfam Australia is currently working to improve natural resource governance in extractive industries; by strengthening transparency and accountability mechanism, improving the participation of marginalised populations, and promoting transformative linkages with the wider economy. This three year project (2017-2020) is implemented in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Who we work with

We are an active member of the Publish What You Pay Australian coalition and OECD Watch.