Beyond Extraction: Economic Opportunities in Mining Communities: Case Study of a Regional Local Economic Development Program in Brazil, Chile, and Peru (2016-2020)
Through strategic social investments, mining companies have the potential to promote long- term partnerships that enable local communities to benefit directly and indirectly from the mine operations, reducing the possibility of conflict and its many costs.
With the vision of validating the hypothesis that mining can be harnessed to create sustainable local economic development, Anglo American, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Inter-American Development Bank Lab (IDB LAB), and the international nonprofit TechnoServe partnered to create Beyond Extraction: Economic Opportunities in Mining Communities (November 2016March 2020). Beyond Extraction is a $5 million regional program that seeks to have a direct impact on approximately 2,500 people and to achieve inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development in Anglo Americans communities of influence in Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
The programs design is based on three core pillars (selected depending on the context in each country): enterprise development, workforce development, and value chain development, which are complemented by two crosscutting approaches: ecosystem buildingiv and leveraging the mining value chain. The design combines traditional direct intervention with broader ecosystem strengthening, aiming to build the foundation for long-term sustainability of the programs impact.
Early findings from Beyond Extraction indicate that mining companies investments may indeed enable sustainable, inclusive local economic growth. While the implemented strategy leverages the presence of Anglo American, it also successfully activates new alternatives for wealth creation independent of the mine. Despite these findings, a main ongoing challenge is ensuring the strength and longevity of partnerships, economic activities, and support services to sustain the impact achieved through the program.
Over its three years of implementation, Beyond Extraction has developed emerging lessons, which are detailed throughout this case study, along with practical tips and stories from the field.