London is the world’s biggest centre for investment in the minerals industry
- Most of the world’s biggest mining companies, and many smaller mining companies, are listed on the London Stock Exchange, including its Alternative Investment Market (AIM). For an explanation of AIM, click here.
- British high street and investment banks, pension funds and insurance companies invest hundreds of millions of pounds a year in scores of mining projects across the globe, connecting working people’s earnings in Britain with the fate of mining-affected communities around the world.
- The mining industry’s key lobbying organization, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is based in London.
- So are the world’s most important metals price fixing mechanism, the London Metal Exchange, and the leading precious metals trader, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).
- The UK Government often gives UK-based mining companies diplomatic support overseas, even when their activities are opposed by local people.
The LSE, AIM and other acronyms
What is the London Stock Exchange?
The primary stock exchange in the UK and the largest in Europe. It’s pretty old: its origins go back to 1773. It’s situated in London, one of the world’s largest financial hubs. Lots of virtual money gets exchanged every day. The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Share Index, or ‘Footsie’, is the most important index, containing 100 of the top companies on the stock exchange.
The companies we target are either listed on the London Stock Exchange or the Alternative Investment Market. This brings the impacts on mining affected communities closer to home, and also means we can effect change by putting pressure on corporations, especially British companies whose headquarters are in the city or who hold their shareholder meetings in London. LSE listed companies are subject to some regulation.
And the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)…?
A sub-market of the London Stock Exchange that was launched in 1995. It allows smaller, less-viable companies to float shares. From a start of just 10 companies with a combined value of £82 million, it is now a global market made up of over 3,600 poorly regulated corporations – with an average value of £80million each.
In the words of London Stock Exchange, AIM is ‘where ideas take off.’ On their website they describe it as the ‘most successful growth market in the world. Powering the companies of tomorrow, AIM continues to help smaller and growing companies raise the capital they need for expansion.’