SEC Ruling on Transparency in the Extractive Industry
(Open pit mining in Panama. Photo by Lynn Burgess. Panama, 2012)
Last week brought two measures aimed at curbing corruption in the extractive industry. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt a rule that SEC-registered companies must disclose payments over $100,000 made to government entities. The SEC also voted to adopt a rule mandating the disclosure of the use of conflict minerals.
The Pulitzer Center has frequently covered the extractives industry and the larger global flows of resources in its Gateway “Global Goods, Local Costs”. Below are a few of our recent articles. Collectively, they show the importance of bringing transparency into an industry plagued with allegations of back-door dealings and corruption.
- In Haiti, the extractives industry is already pushing for unprecedented tax breaks, sparking worries that any financial windfall from future gold mines will simply flow out of the country. Fifteen percent of Haiti is already under explorative licenses held by North American companies and partners. Worries persist about environmental degradation, displaced farmers and protecting the water supply from the caustic chemicals used in open pit mining.
- Allegations of ‘irregularities’ surrounding a mining deal between China and Ecuador are flying, as Ecuadorean indigenous people fight to save their ancestral homelands and its biodiversity.
- In Romania, Rosia Montanta’s history is being bought and demolished in the hopes of reaching an estimated $25 billion of gold through pit mining. (Protest against gold mining in Turkey. Photo by Dimiter Kenarov. Turkey, 2012)
- The “new conquistadors” in Latin America are Canadian mining companies, which have bought land throughout Central and South America, sparking protests. Watch the PBS segment here and see an interactive map of Canadian mines throughout Central and South America here.
- In Peru, gold mining has led to mercury poisoning from the water and fish, and the migration of illegal gold workers to the Amazon’s last pristine rainforests. Click the links to watch two videos produced in conjunction with PBS Newshour.
What are your thoughts on the SEC ruling? Should more countries adopt mandatory disclosure laws? What impact do you think it may have on these communities?