Mining Money: the generative capacities of scientific and legal knowledge practices in the making of resource economies

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    In 1997 a scandal associated with Bre-X, a junior mining firm, and its prospecting activities in Indonesia, exposed to public scrutiny the ways in which mineral exploration firms acquire, assess and report on scientific claims about the natural environment. At stake here was not just how investors understood the provisional nature of scientific knowledge, but also evidence of fraud. Contemporaneous mining scandals not only included the salting of cores, but also unreliable proprietary sample preparation and assay methods, mis-representations of visual field estimates as drilling results and ‘overly optimistic’ geological reports. This paper reports on initiatives taken in the wake of these scandals and prompted by the Mining Standards Task Force (TSE/OSC 1999). For regulators, mandated to increase investor confidence in Canada’s leading role within the global mining industry, efforts focused first and foremost upon identifying and removing sources of error and wilfulness within the production and circulation of scientific knowledge claims. A common goal cross-cutting these initiatives was ‘a faithful representation of nature’ (Daston and Galison 2010), however, as the paper argues, this was manifest in an assemblage of practices governed by distinct and rival regulative visions of science and the making of markets in claims about ‘nature’. These ‘practices of fidelity’, it is argued, can be consequential in shaping the spatial and temporal dynamics of the marketization of nature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2015
    EventDeutscher Kongress fur Geographie 2015 - Germany, Berlin, Germany
    Duration: 01 Oct 201506 Oct 2015


    ConferenceDeutscher Kongress fur Geographie 2015


    • Mining
    • speculation
    • Governance
    • law
    • stock market
    • Bre-X

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

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