A man with a straw hat holds out a stick covered in pollution

Extractive Industries

Extractive industries – which are responsible for the exploration and exploitation of minerals, from fuel minerals to the minerals deemed strategic for the energy transition – are at the heart of multiple crucial challenges that will define the 21st century.

The sector and its associated supply chains provide the essential raw materials that many societies have relied on to build themselves off the ground. Extractive industries are also at the intersection of some of the most urgent and dire socio-environmental problems the world is currently facing, including climate crisis, human and particularly Indigenous rights violations, inequitable benefits sharing, grand corruption and opacity, and entrenched neo-colonialism. Air, forests, land and waters have been heavily contaminated, sometimes for decades if not centuries, as national laws and regulations have been poorly implemented or have grown deficient by-design.

Frontline communities have shown unparalleled levels of commitment through personal sacrifice, community organization, and strategic action against the negative impacts of extractive industries. As EIA’s newest campaign, our extractives work primarily focuses on four main programmatic pillars: 

  • Building Local Capacity and People Led Monitoring
  • Undertaking Strategic Investigations and Ground-Truthing
  • Campaigning and Amplifying Existing Initiatives
  • Participating in Systemic Policy Changes

Extractive Industry Campaign Goals

  • Reduce mining impacts and injustices around the world by fighting power imbalance through hard hitting investigation-led campaigns 
  • Amplify local voices and frontline communities’ fights for their rights 
  • Advocate for ambitious and grounded policy shifts, particularly in terms of energy transition, which position transparency and equity at the heart of any supply chain

Campaign Impacts

  • EIA’s undercover investigation changed the course of a 20-year fight against what would have been the largest copper and gold mine in North America – a project that would have dramatically impacted the world’s largest salmon fishery and some of the most pristine ecosystems in Alaska. EIA exposed the behind closed doors effort by Pebble Mine owner and CEO to win a federal permit for the project. The investigation led to the resignation of the CEO, the denial of the federal permit, and opened the door for the historic victory by six Bristol Bay Tribes who, twelve years after they filed a petition under the Clean Water Act, obtained in January 2023, a veto against the Pebble Mine from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.