Cultural heritage management and local participation in the development of the Sepon mine

Mayes, Warren, and Chang, Nigel (2013) Cultural heritage management and local participation in the development of the Sepon mine. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Social Responsibility in Mining. pp. 63-73. From: SRMining 2013: 2nd International Conference on Social Responsibility in Mining, 5-8 November 2013, Santiago, Chile.

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Communities near the Sepon gold and copper operation in central Laos are entering into a new dialogue with government and corporation about the value of the forests they farm and cultivate. Within this discourse the corporate drive for secure long-term resource access sits alongside the scientific discovery of a 2,300 year-old copper mining industry, local concerns about the disturbance of Animist ancestor and forest spirits, and government efforts to extend a weak administrative apparatus and create a national citizenry. In this paper we investigate cultural heritage mitigation projects, including archaeological survey and excavation and ethnographic survey and recording of contemporary cultural practice. We explain how heritage as both a value system and a professional practice can promote new configurations of 'public' engagement within the complex cultural context of the mining industry. We contend that with an industry-backed heritage program affected communities have more opportunities to make sense of rapid social change and participate in a dialogue about mining and development on their own terms. We promote this as a strategy for the mining industry to move beyond a process of 'permission seeking' and develop sustainable participatory relationships.

Item ID: 32076
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-956-9393-01-3
Keywords: archaeology, heritage, mining, Laos, Southeast Asia, archaeometallurgy, engagement
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Funders: MMG-LXML
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 05:24
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160101 Anthropology of Development @ 40%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 60%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 30%
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