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Mining can be critical to achieving the development aspirations of many developing countries and remote regions. Often, however, the local and national development benefits of mining operations have been limited, and, in some cases, the results have even been negative.

Historically, a focus just on mining company rights and the provision of government tax benefits, while giving limited attention to environmental, social and local economic issues, has limited the sector’s contribution to sustainable development. Working to overcome these concerns, governments, companies and communities increasingly recognize the need for a broader understanding of mining’s potential contribution to local and national development. Transforming this awareness into action requires building the capacity, knowledge and tools required for appropriate reform of government and company policies and processes. 

IISD has been deeply involved in the development of a Model Mining Development Agreement (MMDA) with the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Mining Law Committee. IISD was invited to join the core administrative group on this IBA project when it began in 2009. Since then, we have engaged with the global legal and business community to develop an approach based on a simple question: What would a mining contract with a developing country look like if one started from the perspective of sustainable development? 

As of 2016, IISD serves as the secretariat to the Inter-governmental Forum on Minining, Mineral, Metals and Sustainable Development

  • Report
    IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing artisanal and small-scale mining

    IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing artisanal and small-scale mining

    This guidance document presents a step-by-step process for governments to develop, implement and monitor an effective artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) management strategy.

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  • Report
    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Senegal

    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Senegal

    This assessment assesses the mining laws and policies of Senegal, and the country’s capacity to implement the IGF's Mining Policy Framework (MPF), to ensure that the mining sector contributes to the country's sustainable development.

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  • Blog
    As Mines Become More Automated, What Happens to the Social Licence to Operate?

    As Mines Become More Automated, What Happens to the Social Licence to Operate?

    We recently examined the impact of this automation on local spending and employment. Our aim was to determine the impact on economic development in host states and, by extension, the mines’ social licence to operate.

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  • Report
    Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector

    Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector

    This report uses real-world mining data to estimate the impacts of new technologies on employment and employment-related procurement, which drive major benefits in host countries.

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  • Blog
    Deaths in Honduras Underline the Grave Risks Facing Indigenous Leaders

    Deaths in Honduras Underline the Grave Risks Facing Indigenous Leaders

    Environmental activists and indigenous leaders face deadly risks in many countries, as recent murders in Honduras demonstrate. 

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  • Paper
    Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Annual General Meeting Report

    Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Annual General Meeting Report

    From October 27–29, 2015, the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development convened its 11th Annual General Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

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  • Paper
    Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Communiqué

    Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Communiqué

    Integrating sustainable development into mining activities remains a major challenge. The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, as the leading global policy forum on mining and sustainable development, has an important role to play in this alignment.

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  • Paper
    The Mining Policy Framework: Assessing the implementation readiness of member states of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development

    The Mining Policy Framework: Assessing the implementation readiness of member states of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development

    This report synthesizes some of the key findings from the assessments and the capacity-building workshops with the Dominican Republic, Uganda and Madagascar to help them operationalize practices consistent with the Mining Policy Framework. 

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  • Paper
    Water-Energy-Food Security and Mining in Suriname: A project overview

    Water-Energy-Food Security and Mining in Suriname: A project overview

    Water, energy and food security constitutes critical components of human well-being and includes aspects of supply, demand and access to all three. 

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  • Paper
    Water-Energy-Food Resource Book for Mining

    Water-Energy-Food Resource Book for Mining

    This manual briefly explains IISD’s water-energy and food security framework.

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