Mexico: Anti-mining propaganda
This is the type of thing that drives me up the wall, not just because of its misinformation content but also because the mining industry never makes a concerted effort of rebuttal against the NGOs and knee-jerk treehuggers peddling this crap. Last week in Mexico, during a presentation by a group of anti-mining NGOs for a (13) “Manual for the defence of communities against the impact of mining in Mexico” (in other words, an instruction book on how to stop mining companies in your community), one of the presenters, a lawyer from Greenpeace, said the following (translation of direct quote):
“At the end of 2014 a total of 25,267 mining concessions were registered (in Mexico) which, according to the Mexican Geological Service, cover a concessioned surface area of nearly 26 million hectares. This represents around 12.7% of the national territory”.
And how was this anti-mine coordination meeting reported by the press? Here are (translated) four examples of the headlines (and there were many more, play with Google and find out for yourself) (14) (15) (16) (17):
“NGOs: 12.7% Of Mexico’s Terrain Is Concessioned to Mining Companies”
“Mining Companies Consume Mexico: They Already Have 12% of the Territory”
“Mexican Mining Companies Already Have As Much Terrain (12%) As The Country’s Nature Reserves”
“Mining Companies Awarded 12.7% of the Nation’s Land”
Of those four only the first one is in any way accurate, the others use inflammatory language and are deliberately trying to create the false impression that mining companies “own” 12.7% of Mexico. As you and I know (or you damned well should by now) the reality is nothing of the sort and owning a mining concession is a million miles from “owning” the land. So why doesn’t the mining industry tackle this head on, because it’s both a way into teaching a wider audience about how it works and a way to show them the BS they’re being fed by the anti-mining industry? It would be simple stuff too:
1) Explain what a concession is
2) Explain how you get one and what you need to do to keep one
3) Most importantly, explain why a mining company will own concessions that are much MUCH larger than the mine therein contained. This last point is the one that’s most played upon by the anti-mining screechers and it just by doing this, your average person would see the hypocrisy in the Greenpeace propaganda.
And of course it isn’t just a tactic used in Mexico, I come across this “Mining owns X% of my country! How dare they!” argument all the time, with variants such as “Mining Company XYZ owns a concession that includes a graveyard! They’re going to dig up my relatives!” and all sorts of others. The world of mining is hardly perfect and there are still some companies that give it a bad name, but it’s long past the time that the good guys need to be painted as some sort of gang of land-rapists and property usurpers.
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Here's a small part of IKN376 out last night, one of the minor pieces in the 'Regional Politics' section but it's also the type of thing that I think needs more eyes on it and more attention devoted by the mining industry, in order to demonstrate to the ublic at large that the treehugger end of the debate are just as likely to use BS in order to influence public opinion. So here you go: