While the mining industry generates many benefits to society, the industry has in some cases had a detrimental impact on affected communities. This paradox, manifested in the unequal distribution of costs and benefits amongst stakeholders, has prompted widespread scrutiny of the mining industry. Critique of the industry has questioned whether mining provides an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable model of development. Mining companies are increasingly adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to address the industry paradox, and to thereby ameliorate the industry’s reputation, productive prospects, and societal impact. This paper examines how, and to what effect CSR has been implemented by Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America. A case study of Glamis Gold/ Goldcorp’s operations in Guatemala illuminates industry and CSR trends, observable elsewhere in Latin America. Despite the redeeming qualities of many CSR initiatives, CSR alone is not the panacea for solving the industry paradox and achieving sustainable development.
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