Many indigenous peoples live in remote areas that have only recently become accessible to the mining industry.
It is estimated that half of all the gold mined from 1995 to 2015 is likely to come from native lands – the traditional territories of indigenous people. These communities' relative isolation from mainstream society often leaves indigenous communities without basic legal and political safeguards.
Government and business interests often do not respect the spiritual and cultural connection indigenous people have to their lands and environment. They also often fail to respect communities' right to free, prior and informed consent before developing a mine in the area.
In many countries, the law does not recognize indigenous peoples as owners of their lands. Even when surface land rights are clearly titled to indigenous groups, governments frequently sell off the subsurface rights to mining corporations.Tribes face uphill battles as royalties are denied, land rights are ignored, and wealth continues to leave tribal land.