Social Progress in Mining-Dependent Countries

An abundance of natural resources can be both a blessing and a curse. Economies often experience a production and export boom following the discovery of rich oil, gas or mineral deposits. However, the gains from unearthing these resources can be difficult to sustain over the longer term, which has led to the coining of the term “the resource curse” in the economic literature. But what are the implications of resource riches for broader socio-economic progress in countries?

AlphaBeta supported the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) in new research to examine the socio-economic impacts in mining-dependent countries globally, from Chile to Papua New Guinea. The ICMM is a group of more than 50 international mining companies and commodities associations who are committed to make mining fairer and more sustainable.

“Life for people in countries that are ‘mining-dependent’ is improving…
Today, people in these countries are generally healthier, wealthier, and better educated.”

Our research shows that the majority of socio-economic indicators evaluated in mining-dependent countries improved in absolute terms between 1995 and 2015. The greatest progress was made in providing people with improved access to infrastructure, more affordable and clean energy, and in promoting good health and well-being. The report also shows that the mining-dependent countries surveyed are rapidly catching up with the most socially advanced countries globally. In 1995, 56 per cent of all mining-dependent countries had overall socio-economic performances below the global average, but 84 per cent of them have been able to close the gap against the best performing countries since.

To find out more, download the executive summary or full report.


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