Table of Contents
Historic land rights Australia.
Historic land rights in Mongolia.
The impact assessment and negotiation of various binding agreements allow the indigenous people from different parts to benefit themselves from the large-scale development in the mineral sector while maintaining their cultural values and social well-being. With the help of impact assessments, the effectiveness of mining activities can be measured globally. The assessments enable us to look at the significant changes that are brought up by the activities related to mining. The same applies to the Mongolian as well as the Australian indigenous mining communities, whereby there is evidence that had helped them to protect their social and cultural values without jeopardizing them on the grounds of their economic development (Friedman, 2013). BHP's iron ore mines are located in the Western Australian in the Pilbara region as well as the Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit mines are located in the south Gobi of Mongolia which will be examined in this study.
The impact assessment will be studied concerning the indigenous people and the mineral mines to analyze the positive impact upon the local communities. In recent years both the mines have gone under the immense measures and had formulated various policies to maintain the social and cultural values of the local community. The essay focuses on how the large scale employment is generated for the indigenous people and how they are benefited from the mining-related activities. It must be noted that both the Mongolian community and the Australian indigenous community are different from each other however they also have some striking similarities regarding the way of assistants of the mining companies for the local communities.
According to the Shareholder theory as well as the Friedman doctrine, which talks about the normative theory of business ethics it is the responsibility of the company to abide by the code of conduct and must keep concerning the Welfare of the local communities. The work-related activities must not create a negative impact upon the well-being of the indigenous community nearby. There are various arguments against the doctrines whereby the Friedman doctrine what's question stating that unlike an individual, a company cannot have the responsibility of the people. However, then it was contended by various scholars that it is the responsibility of the company to look out for the moral responsibilities enshrined upon them by several Acts. The history reflects upon the fact that various indigenous communities have fought to maintain and protect their cultural and social values and well-being which are usually compromised by the mining corporations.
On the other hand in the present era of 2020 and by keeping concerning various formulated policies to safeguard the rights of the individual, it will be wrong to assume that mining companies do not have any moral obligations. This is the exact case with the south Gobi mining company in Mongolia as well as with the iron ore mines in Western Australia. The present essay will study upon the fact as to how the indigenous people from different communities benefit themselves from the large scale mineral development from various mining companies and how do they balance their protection of social and cultural values. It must be noticed that the mining companies owes a duty of care not only to their directors for shareholders but they are the duty to every individual who made likely to be exposed and can have an impact due to the activities related to the company. The essay will reflect upon how both the mining companies are working for the development of the indigenous communities located nearby the mining areas.
Historic land rights of Australian and Mongolian indigenous communities help us to understand importance of the historical land rights of the people of Australia, especially to the indigenous communities. In the year 1992, the high court of Australia in its Mabo decision had recognized the rights of the indigenous communities in Australia (Angela, 2019). Whereby the court had recognized that the indigenous community in the territory of Australia holds certain rights related to the land and these rights cannot be extinguished accepted by the valid grants under the Australian government. The Australian government understands the importance of the Australian aboriginals and their connection with the land. Mining is such an activity that has a direct connection with the extraction of resources from a land that has all the potential to create a negative impact on the social and cultural values of these people (Khuldorj, 2012). This is the reason why certain Acts have been formulated to enshrine the duty of care to the companies related to the mining activities.
So far as the Mongolian land rights are concerned, the Mongolia local community is treated as an inhabiting tribe that resides in the remote area of north China. The time when these people wanted to unify by the army of Genghis Khan they had conquered a large part of Asia. However, it must be noted that the angles of the South Gobi desert are treated as the indigenous people of the region and has a large sense of sensitivity regarding their land (Khuldorj, 2012). It must be noticed that according to the Mongolian law the major part of Mongolia and its capital belongs to the people of Mongolia due to the reason that a large part of these people had a Nomadic history. This is the reason why the Oyu Tolgoi copper company had been categorized with the unified land territory principles of Mongolia and this makes it to protect the rights of the Mongolian people. The fact cannot be denied that there are various written as well as unwritten laws that play an important part in determining the rules for the Central Asia people who had a Nomadic culture. The strong ties to the motherland and the history attached to it provide them certain rights by the government of Mongolia.
The fact is undeniable that the Oyu Tolgoi works for generating employment opportunities for indigenous communities as Oyu Tolgoi is located in the southern Gobi region of Mongolia and is known as the largest gold deposits around the world. As per the report published by the media relations center, Oyu Tolgoi is considered to be the safest and sustainable operations mine in the world. It must be noted that this mine is jointly owned by the government of Mongolia with at least 34% of ownership. According to author Seymore Topping, Mongolia had become a part of the communist world and had become a member of the Soviet council for providing mutual economic assistance (Angela, 2019). The major factors to how the mining companies can aid and help in the development of various indigenous communities surviving nearby are by providing them the opportunity of employment which is already very less in most of the countries. It must be noticed that Oyu Tolgoi, is the largest employer in Mongolia with more than 17000 of contractors and employees are working for the company (Angela, 2019). The fact cannot be denied that when any mining company employs the indigenous community for over 93% of them has all the potential to create a profound impact on the economy of that particular country (Gilroy, 2015). In this way, both the company as well as the development of the individual from the indigenous community can be checked upon.
It must be noticed that as per the agreement for investment, the class that especially mentions that it is the responsibility of the company to the employee at least an average of 93 to 95% of its national and when the company employs the indigenous people they must be the original inhabitants of the country where you have to directly safeguard the social and cultural values of these people. The researchers suggest that the baselines study regarding the development and implementation of the projects like mining, the government usually focuses upon the protection of nearby community wellbeing, the health of the community, environment, and livelihoods of the locals (Gilroy, 2015). Several programs have been brought up in Mongolia which works to provide priority for different areas associated with the local and indigenous community which are likely to get affected by the activities of mining performed by the Oyu Tolgoi Company.
The fact cannot be denied that water is also one of the precious resources of the south Gobi region where only an average of 97 mm of average rainfall is recorded in that particular region. This is one important reason why the company gives great importance to the local herders as their life is solely dependent upon water consumption in the nearby areas (Angela, 2019). If the company is extracting a large amount of water then the local herders may not be able to use the groundwater from Wells and other ponds to feed themselves and their animals (Gilroy, 2015). The activity of mining is directly proportional to the deep-rooted Mongolian herders and their connection with the land.
In Mongolia, there are hundreds of ponds, springs, and lakes that have been dried up across the country as per the report published by the ministry of environment. As soon as the water retreats the desert will advance and it must be noticed that according to the report by environment ministry of Mongolia, roughly around three-quarters of the land of Mongolia is degraded and is greatly suffering from the problem of desertification. According to Damdin Dagvadorj, who is the managing director of the climate change and development academy, more than a quarter of area in the lands of Mongolia is suffering from lack of water resources.
The problem of global warming has become a great issue for the people and the herders of Mongolia. According to the global climate risk index, the average temperature of Mongolia has increased by around 2.1 Celsius since the year 1940 which is more than double the average rise of the global temperature (Woodlock, 2009). This is the reason why most of the advocacy groups have ranked Mongolia as VIII country which is more vulnerable to the direct economic loss that can be caused due to the events of weather (Woodlock, 2009). The indigenous communities do not have enough to feed their animals for children due to whom they become very malnourished and the activities of mining which is a land and water resource activity are likely to cause more threat to these people. Unlike various other copper mines, Oyu Tolgoi is considered as the most efficient copper mines in the world in terms of water consumption and is thoroughly engaged in the practice of conservation and recycling. The fact state that the mine uses only 0.4 to cubic meters of water per ton for processing their old which is very low as compared to the other copper business which uses 1.2 cubic meters of water per ton for their processing of ores. It must be noticed that more than 85% of the water used by the Oyu Tolgoi is recycled (White, 2010). And the mine has formulated a policy of zero direct discharge into the waters nearby the area of the mine which will not affect the water or land quality for the consumption of the indigenous people.
The summers in the Mongolian region are very extreme and employing the indigenous people and herders in the south Gobi will help these people to sustain their life to generate more money which will help them to feed their animals and their family. When and the mining company is not associated with any degradation of water and land, the social and cultural values attached to the land and water of the indigenous people can also be protected at the same time. Apart from this also works regarding the protection of water bodies in the nearby areas in such a way that they periodically monitor the existing Wells and other water supplies in various communities. Oyu Tolgoi had formulated various water monitoring programs under which they check upon the quality and levels of water which is used by the herders to record their consumption of water.
This data helps the mining company to measure how much water they can use which will not negatively create an impact upon the sustenance of the local communities nearby. The cooperation agreement which has been set out by the Oyu Tolgoi Company and its community partner focuses on sustainable development especially in the areas of tourism, environment, pastureland management, water, development, and procurement (Gilroy, 2015). The main idea behind this agreement is to ensure much stronger governance that will monitor the activities of the mining company as well as its impact upon the local communities to address the mutual obligations for the economy as well as the sustenance and survival of the indigenous people. As per the provisions of the cooperation agreement between the Oyu Tolgoi and its partners, every year around $5million of contribution will be made under the development support fund.
The memorandum and brochure of Oyu Tolgoi mining company, advocates for the protection of the cultural heritage of Mongolia particularly in the region of South Gobi as most of the indigenous people are residing over that particular region. This particular mine was established under the cultural heritage management system during the soviets times, where it was ensured that the management it and protection for the intangible as well as the tangible cultural heritage is maintained (Corporate Affairs Functional Requirements and Commitments, 2013). The production of cultural Heritage includes Heritage in the form of historical buildings, archaeological findings, and natural landmarks. So far as the intangible Heritage is concerned, please be inclusive of the protection of the local people, folk legends, nomadic herding, etc. (Gilroy, 2017). To protect the Heritage under the intangible category the mining companies must provide their support to protect the annual camel festival, the training for the local people to learn new methodologies for recording their local history as well as other traditional ceremonies of the indigenous people.
By keeping in Reliance all the facts and circumstances under which the Oyu Tolgoi company works, the fact cannot be negative that it had helped the local communities of Mongolia for preserving their heritage (Stern, 2015). When the impact assessment is evaluated it can be said that you told mine had created and had a major impact especially upon the indigenous people in the south Gobi region of Mongolia related to their culture and society. Every provision under the agreement made by the alloy was implemented through careful negotiation between the Mongolian Government and the company to safeguard the cultural values of the indigenous people and balancing the development of the local communities at the same time (Stern, 2015).
However, as every coin has two sides, there were many critics for the agreement formed between the Oyu Tolgoi Company and its partners. Battumur Bagga what's the parliament area in the Mongolia country where he had argued that the agreement of the mining company is not very beneficial for every Mongolian citizen and the idea is nice regarding attracting foreign direct investment but it should not only benefit the foreign side (Westshore, 2014). One thing which cannot be denied is that the Oyu Tolgoi mines in Mongolia had their way regarding maintaining and developing the cultural and social values of the indigenous people living in the south Gobi region (Gilroy, 2015). This was done by providing a large amount of employment which on the other hand provides the local communities the freedom and time for enjoying their cultural heritage as the mining activity nowhere degrades the value of water or land in whatsoever manner.
Role of BHP Billiton Iron Ore for the development of indigenous communities is immense and the fact cannot be denied that the BHP Billiton iron ore respects the Heritage of the aboriginal people surviving in the territory of Australia according to the provisions governed under the Western Australian aboriginal Heritage act of 1972. According to the various other relevant common law legislation and state legislations like the commonwealth EPBC, as well as the Western Australian Environmental Protection Act, it is a well-known fact that even the local community of Australia just as the case of Mongolia are also closely related and linked to the Australian land (Khuldorj, 2012). According to the research made by various scholars, the indigenous people of Australia considered as the land much more than the components of minerals, rock, or soil. The indigenous people of Australia worship the land as it provides a living environment to this community for their sustenance and this made these people culturally attached to the land of Australia (Stewart, 2012).
According to the case of Land Belong Islander, the plaintiff who was the indigenous person contended in the court of law that “it is the land of my father, my grandmother, and my grandfather, and I am related to this land. I have to fight for it and if I don't it then I will lose my entire identity as I am attached to this land I am so to my identity” (Gilroy, 2015). This statement is evident to understand the attachment of the indigenous community with the land of Australia. This is one major reason why BHP Billiton iron ore concerns with the native titleholders as well as with the traditional owners and other stakeholders regarding every activity they perform which has the potential to create an impact upon the cultural values of the indigenous people. This is the reason why the BHP Billiton iron ore had conducted various large-scale ethnographic as well as archaeological services to identify the places which hole significance regarding the cultural values to the local and indigenous communities of the area (Gilroy, 2015). This will help the BHP Billiton iron ore to identify the particular reasons in which they can perform their activity to minimize the impact of mining activities on the local communities.
Different surveys which are conducted by the BHP Billiton iron ore is guided by the Heritage protocols which will help the company to perform strategic assessment area to reduce the negative impact of the mining activities upon the local communities. The matters of national environment significance program had set out details under which the activities of the BHP Billiton iron all will be determined and their internal project will be analyzed to understand the development programs of the company and to study its impacts upon the indigenous communities (Khuldorj, 2012). It must be noticed that the country of Australia had set out various strict regulations and rules regarding the activity is related to mining and their impact upon the indigenous communities.
It must be noticed that the BHP Billiton iron ore has directly or indirectly created and impact upon the aboriginal community of Australia due to its mining operations across the Pilbara region. The objectives of the BHP iron ore is formulated to ensure the protection of the culture and historical associations of the local communities with the land. According to the assessment of the aboriginal Heritage of 2004, the same objective of the company is supported accordingly (Daniels, 2018). This is the reason why the BHP Billiton iron ore works to protect the Heritage of the aboriginal people in the territory of Australia by working and operating their activities in compliance with the aboriginal Heritage act of 1972 (Stewart, 2012). The potential impact of the activity of the company to the Heritage site of the indigenous people is associated with the strategic environment assessment which was managed through the company with the help of their internal Heritage management processes.
The management processes of the companies are based upon the guidelines formulated by the department of indigenous affairs of Australia which are inclusive of the measures to identify the Heritage sites so that the company can avoid operating in those particular areas so that it can help in minimizing the impact of the mining-related activities. under any situation where a particular Heritage site cannot be avoided by the company as it is very important to mind over that particular area then under such circumstances, the BHP Billiton iron ore company have to consult with the appropriate indigenous group and have to seek consent from the minister as per section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act of 1972 (Stewart, 2012). This is the reason why large scale surveys are conducted and accordingly the strategic proposal is formulated by the company. In the year 2020, the BHP Company had completed its reconciliation action plan in which it had acknowledged the specific rights provided to the aboriginal community of Australia as well as the Torres Strait Islander people (Griffiths, 2012).
BHP also contributes to the sustainable development to the environment while providing and empowerment of economic, social and cultural wellbeing to the indigenous people. According to the Australian mind bulletin in the year 2006, it was contended that the BHP iron ore company had employed more than 950 Torres islander people as well as the aboriginal community across the territory of Australia for their business (Ciaran, 2009). More than 300 Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people were trained under the reconciliation Action Plan formulated by the BHP iron ore. Due to this employment, more than 350 million dollar contract was awarded to these indigenous group between the year 2013 and 2015 (Ciaran, 2009). Apart from this in the year 2013, more than a hundred indigenous scholarships was awarded to the local communities where around 22000 employees who are Australian based were trained to improve their cultural competencies (Reilly, 2017).
Therefore, it can be referred that the importance of the mining companies is closely associated with providing the opportunities of employment especially to the indigenous and local communities of Australia. Formulating the opportunities of sustainability in the field of business and employment for the local communities benefits the company as well as the Torres Strait Islander and aboriginal people in both ways. The major part of the operations of team BHP Iron Ore Company is located nearby the areas of traditional lands of the illusionist people who have a long-lasting relationship with the land. This is the reason why the mining company comes under an agreement with the traditional owner groups to ensure that they will develop various employment as well as training and educational programs for the local people in such a way that the employment opportunities are generated to the local communities (Angela, 2019). Just like the Oyu Tolgoi mining company, BHP also works to formulate various programs that will help the aboriginal people as well as the Torres Strait Islander people of Australia to formulate various methods under which they can protect their social and cultural values.
Apart from this, the BHP Company had also provided various temporary facilities to help the local women shelter as well as the police to deliver certain services that are critical to helping the residents to keep them safe during the pandemic of coronavirus. The BHP iron ore company has been a supporter for a long time to provide refuge to the children and women who have suffered domestic violence, especially from the local communities. The shelter provided by the BHP iron ore companies is complied with the appropriate facilities regarding providing proper isolation to the people who are suspected of the virus.
Therefore, the path from providing employment opportunities or empowering the local communities to protect their culture, mining companies play a significant role in protecting the lives of the local community in the time of pandemic situations. This is the reason why it can be said that the mining companies are a blessing in disguise for the indigenous and local communities of different areas. Hence it can rightly be concluded that the history of the Mongolian culture, as well as the strict governance of Australia, had created a positive impact upon the aboriginal people and the local community of Mongolia in various ways under which these people can protect their cultural and social heritage. On the other hand, these both mining companies work on the agenda of social development in such a way that day is progressing towards providing more employment opportunities to the people who are usually isolated on the grounds of their caste, race, and ethnicity. By providing proper apprentices and training to the local communities, these people become eligible to not only get employed in the mining industry but they can also apply and work in any other company based on the education and training they were provided with.
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