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Colonial Extractions

Colonial Extractions: Race and Canadian Mining in Contemporary Africa

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 400
  • Book Info
    Colonial Extractions
    Book Description:

    Challenging Canada's image as a humane, enlightened global actor,Colonial Extractionsexamines the troubling racial logic that underpins Canadian mining operations in several African countries.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1995-1
    Subjects: Business, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acronyms
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 Contemporary Canadian Mining: Colonial Continuities
    (pp. 3-20)

    On 16 May 2011, five Tanzanians aged twenty-five to thirty-five were among a large crowd of people alleged to be illegally hunting for goldbearing ore inside the perimeter of a Canadian-financed and majorityowned gold mine in northern Tanzania. A confrontation with mine security or police occurred, and these men were shot dead.³ On 8 June 2011, a two-pageGlobe and Mailarticle reported that the mining company planned to erect, at a cost of $14 million, a 12-kilometre long, 3-metre-high concrete fence topped with electrified razor wire around the site as a strategy to keep out, once and for all,...

  6. 2 Theorizing Canada’s Twenty-First-Century Colonialist Mining Project
    (pp. 21-59)

    This chapter establishes a comprehensive theoretical framework for analysing Canadian involvement in global mining as a colonialist project. Critical race theory and much post-colonial theory offer perspectives sensitized to the importance of colonial-imperial legacies and the persistent and multifaceted routine violence of white supremacy. This facilitates the investigation of a range of complex, interconnected social phenomena: macro-structural (capitalist) forces; the powers and effects of discourse and social imaginaries; the nature of modernity and the neoliberal racial state; violence as physical, psychological, structural, and symbolic; the production of subjects and subjectivity as a mode of rule and an exercise of power;...

  7. 3 “I Hear the Rustling of Gold under My Feet”: Mining, Race, and the Making of Canada
    (pp. 60-84)

    From the 1500s, but increasingly from the late 1700s, “natural resources” – furs, fish, timber, copper, gold – brought Europeans, and some non- Europeans, to the territory now known as Canada. During this four-hundred-year history, these “newcomers”¹ developed rationales for their presence; gradually, they developed what Mbembe calls a “central cultural imaginary” that supported their right not only to live in the land but to assume sovereignty over it as well. The specific content of this national cultural imaginary has changed over time in response to changing social and historical events. The history of appropriating resource-rich lands from Indigenous peoples,rationalizing...

  8. 4 “Something from Nothing”: Generating Wealth in the Racialized Mining Economy
    (pp. 85-125)

    If domestic mining in Canada was part of the consolidation of Canada as a white-settler capitalist state, what importance do Canada’s contemporary global mining operations, and specifically those located in African countries, have for Canada’s political economy and nationhood? And what is the impact on African countries of Canada’s mining presence? As noted in chapter 1, Canada has become the leading source of non- African investment in African mining: in 2005, forty-five African mines had a major Canadian interest;¹ by 2012, Canadian mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Toronto Venture Exchange held assets in African countries...

  9. 5 Racial Rule: Resource Appropriation and the Rule of Law
    (pp. 126-161)

    In earlier chapters, I alluded extensively to the significance of institutional and ideological uses of law in manifesting colonial power and organizing colonialist access to mineral resources. In this chapter, I show how certain types of law operate in support of colonialist structural violence. This form of violence, seemingly so different from the visceral and direct brutality experienced, for instance, by Congolese villagers under Leopold II’s rule, typically occurs with impunity.

    It is now widely acknowledged that the strong Canadian presence in African mining is a direct result of the liberalization of African country mining codes, a process that was...

  10. 6 Who Do We Say We Are? Narratives of Canadian Mining Professionals in African States
    (pp. 162-210)

    In considering Canada’s contemporary mining operations in African states as neo-colonialist in nature, we must pay attention to the kinds of cultural narratives and subjectivities both required and produced by those operations. My conversations with mining industry professionals showed that they have access to a shifting menu of scripts that encompass the oppositions and contradictions that Memmi (1965) captured in his comparison of the “colonizer who accepts” with the “colonizer who refuses.” What differentiates thecontemporaryera is the emergence of a mode of subjectivity - the racialized neoliberal subject of global capitalism - that must competently perform not simply...

  11. 7 “I Wouldn’t Glorify Them as Prospectors”: Colonial Contact Zones and the Eradication of African “Artisanal” Miners
    (pp. 211-249)

    In chapter 3 of this book, the treaty processes between the British Crown/Government of Canada and First Nations were analysed with reference to Mary Louise Pratt’s term, “colonial contact zones,” which refers to places where colonized and colonizer meet and interact, but not on equal or mutually agreed terms. It is “the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict.”¹ Despite the power disparity that characterizes such situations, Pratt posits a colonized subject who exercises a degree of agency in...

  12. 8 Refusing the “White Man’s Burden”: Investing in Colour-Blind Mining in Post-Apartheid South Africa
    (pp. 250-285)

    Canada’s involvement in the redesign of South Africa’s post-apartheid mining law underscores the incommensurability of substantive justice and colour-blind neoliberalism. In examining South Africa’s mining reforms, this chapter consolidates the analysis of Canadian efforts to ensure the installation of neoliberal mining laws in African states as a mechanism of renewed colonialist-capitalist domination. This mode of domination operates through a form of “post-racial racism” that claims to value “diversity,” espouse “colour-blindness,” ignore historical causes of inequality, and place domestic and foreign players in competition on a mythical “level playing field.”

    South Africa’s new mining legislation, in its draft and final forms,³...

  13. 9 Conclusion: Imagining Decolonized Relations
    (pp. 286-294)

    The Canadian global mining industry is lucrative for most of the companies involved. In recent years, the value of Canadian-listed mining assets in African countries has reached as much as $27 billion.¹ Global mining profits have played a significant role in keeping Canadian stock markets and chartered banks - and thousands of investment portfolios - buoyant at a time when other industrialized nations are struggling to balance budgets. Yet many of the African countries where Canadian mining companies are operating have among the lowest per capita incomes and quality-of-life indicators on the planet. With Mbembe’s classic questions still ringing –...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 295-334)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 335-364)
  16. Index
    (pp. 365-384)