I do not thinks there is anything wrong or inappropriate about the facts I cite in this article. My Canadian friends bewail the fact that the United States is an imperial power, colonizing smaller nations and exploiting their resources. They deny that Canada is as imperial a colonizer as any. Consider Canadian ownership of United States mines.
Canadian companies own four of the five largest gold mines in the United States. In fact Canadian companies own at least 13 of the 30 largest gold mines in the United States. Considering that 18 of the 30 largest gold mines in the United States are owned by foreign companies, one must pause to wonder if the United States is not the colonized, rather than the colonizer —the object of imperialism, rather than the actor.
Placer Dome (now Barrick), for example, is a player in the game of owning US mines. With more than 13,000 claims over nearly 270,000 acres, they are aggressive. Rio Tinto comes second with over 10,000 claims over nearly 200,000 acres.
I get these facts and refer you to many others at the Environmental Working Group website. Clearly they do not like mines or mining, much less foreign ownership of mines that the 1872 Mining Law makes so easy and so lucrative for foreign companies. But they do present facts and figures to make you wonder.
Personally, I wonder why US mining companies have been so slack in developing national resources. Are they too busy with coal to worry about hardrock mines? Are they too local to go beyond the town’s quarry? Are they risk averse, goaded to caution by lawyers and regulators, who know their clients cannot flee across a border? Maybe there are so many other opportunities in the US to get rich, that only desperate foreign companies, bereft of opportunity in their own lands, must perforce cross northern borders, just like workers cross southern borders? Or is the 1872 Mining Law to blame for making it all too easy to get something for nothing?
I suspect that the US is not alone in having most of its mining controlled by Canadians. Consider the other obvious places: Peru, Chile, and other parts of South America. I cannot find the comparable statistics for foreign ownership of Canadian or Australian mines. (It will of course be easier to count one day if it is all owned by Xstrata.) Let me know your opinion.