No Mine is an Island: Shared Infrastructure for Social Benefit in the African Extractives Industry

The quality and availability of transport and other critical infrastructure has been a major barrier to the development of world-class mineral deposits in Africa. When infrastructure is not available and the host government is unable or unwilling to provide it, extractive companies tend to build it for their exclusive use, with low levels of integration with host economies. To compensate for the depletion of natural assets, extractive companies should increase the human, productive, social, financial and commercial assets of the countries in which they operate. Sharing infrastructure may help to promote this by furthering socio economic development around extractive sites. Considering shared use during the design of infrastructure may also reduce the incremental capital cost to the economy and the impact on the environment.