Why do some communities resist mining projects while others do not?

Marta Conde, Philippe Le Billon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The pace of mineral extraction has greatly accelerated since the mid-1950s, with a major mineral boom taking place in the past decade. Responding to growing demands for more material resources, mining projects have met with frequent resistance from local communities. Yet, not all communities oppose mining projects. Based on an extensive literature review, this paper identifies and discusses factors affecting the likelihood of resistance to mining projects by local communities. Case study evidence suggests that dependency towards mining companies, political marginalisation, and trust in institutions tend to reduce resistance likelihood. In contrast, large environmental impacts, lack of participation, extra-local alliances, and distrust towards state and extractive companies tend to increase resistance, while economic marginalisation, corporate social responsibility activities, remoteness and attachment to place have mixed effects. Systematic assessments of these factors could further confirm patterns of resistance, clarify the needs for local consent processes, and help inform the creation of ’no-go’ areas for mining projects to the mutual benefit of companies, communities, and government authorities otherwise affected by socio-environmental impacts and costly deadlocks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-697
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Communities
  • Conflicts
  • Mining
  • Participation
  • Resistance


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