Crisis what crisis? Seeing Africa like a mining company
Sabine Luning (Leiden University)
Currently, Canadian junior companies dominate gold mining exploration in West Africa. How do these companies try to persuade investors to put their money in Africa, a continent often associated with endemic crises? This paper describes discursive strategies deployed by junior companies to attract capital for ventures. It shows how patches of space in West Africa are framed as potential sites for investment, free of risk and full of promise. Definitions of risk - geological risk, country risk - operate as scalemakers, allowing companies to zoom in on promises and out on problems. Studying the social intricacies of these framing practices do not only require fieldwork at various sites (mining conferences in Canada, concessions in West Africa), but also expertise from different disciplines. The paper proposes how the articulation of research data from various places and types of expertise may facilitate the study of the international field of gold mining in West Africa.
Engaging resources: anthropological perspectives on the formation and contestation of natural resource environments