Rio Tinto’s take on the challenges of resource availability

The company claims Africa to be the “largest untapped source of growth for our industry…providing us with the opportunity, in partnership with the east, to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime transformation story”. So, metals and materials will be dug up on earth’s poorest subcontinent, to serve the pretended needs of growing middle-classes in China, India, and elswhere in Asia. No surprise there – Rio Tinto has been doing much the same for over a century, while the Chinese state has become the company’s pre-eminent shareholder.
New markets may be radically re-targeted, but the colonial trope appears as much in evidence as ever – though now dressed up in more evocative and fancier clothes.

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