Sand in the South China Sea, bauxite in Ghana, rubies in Mozambique, gold in the Central African Republic, coal in Afghanistan. All of these resources are being mined, and fueling conflict in the regions that possess them—whether armed conflict or tensions between local communities and the state. The essays and reporting below explore the battles over these resources and, together, present a picture of the price of extraction worldwide.—Chloe Hadavas
Chinese dredging vessels at work at the Colombo Port City under construction
Modern civilizations are forged with sand, but soaring extraction has come at an alarming price, FP’s Christina Lu writes.
A road snakes through the Atewa forest in Ghana on Sept. 5, 2019. The road was built by the Ghanaian government to allow researchers to sample soil ahead of the start of mining operations.
Chinese investment has led to a crush of infrastructure development in Ghana’s tropical forests—and not everyone is happy about it, FP’s Nosmot Gbadamosi writes.
A road near a ruby mine in the Montepuez area of Mozambique in November 2015.
Some 40 percent of the world’s rubies lie in one mining concession in Mozambique, where a troubling pattern of violence and death contradicts the claim of “responsibly sourced,” Estacio Valoi writes.
A demonstrator holds a Russian flag while sitting on a motorcycle during a march in support of Russia’s and China’s presence in the Central African Republic in Bangui on March 22.
The attack in the Central African Republic may tie back to rebels—or Russian mercenaries, Arthur Kaufman writes.
Coal trucks from Balkhab, Afghanistan, enter Bamyan province’s Yawkalang district.
The battle for cash pits the Kabul extremists against Hazara locals, Stefanie Glinski writes. (Moz24h)