Mining is the largest sector of the Zambian economy but, as has been the case elsewhere, the relationship between mining companies and their host communities has been fractious, without a clear path towards sustainability. The severe social, economic, and environmental impacts of mining have been compounded by perceived shortcomings in corporate social and environmental responsibility programming by the industry, and by fragile regulatory capacity on the part of the government. This paper examines the modalities and results of mining community development programmes in Zambia as part of the broader discussion on how large international mining companies can, and do, contribute to local and community development. It narrates the approaches adopted by five multinational mining corporates, two of which are Chinese-owned, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
community development corporate social and environmental responsibility