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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? 

IISD has served as the secretariat to the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) since 2015. The IGF supports more than 60 nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure that negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared. It is devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development and environmental stewardship.

  • Report
    2018 IGF Annual Report

    2018 IGF Annual Report

    The IGF 2018 annual report dives into our commitment to making sure mining’s benefits are not just shared but leveraged for sustainable development by our 69 member countries.

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  • Report
    Background Document: Legal Framework of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in the Mining Sector

    Background Document: Legal Framework of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in the Mining Sector

    This background document identifies the issues and problems related to the legal framework of ESIAs and related plans in the legal framework of mineral resource-rich countries.

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  • Report
    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Kyrgyzstan

    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Kyrgyzstan

    This report presents the mining policy framework (MPF) assessment for Kyrgyzstan, with a view to helping the government target its efforts in implementing the MPF.

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  • Blog
    Not a Case of Either/Or: How government and mines in Zambia can save money through energy efficiency

    Not a Case of Either/Or: How government and mines in Zambia can save money through energy efficiency

    For years, Zambia’s large hydroelectric dams were able to meet the power needs of its mines, but facing rising electricity demands the country opted to increase generation using coal, diesel and heavy fuel oil.

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    What Do Bears and Smartphones Have in Common?

    What Do Bears and Smartphones Have in Common?

    The challenge that electronics hibernation poses to the circular economy.

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    Local Content Policies in the Mining Sector: Stimulating direct local employment

    Local Content Policies in the Mining Sector: Stimulating direct local employment

    The paper, focused on stimulating direct local employment, is part of a set of expert documents to substantiate the IGF Guidance for Governments on local content policies, released in July 2018.

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  • Report
    Designing Local Content Policies in Mineral-Rich Countries

    Designing Local Content Policies in Mineral-Rich Countries

    The paper, focused on designing local content policies in mineral-rich countries, is part of a set of expert documents to substantiate the IGF Guidance for Governments on local content policies, released in July 2018.

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  • Report
    Local Content Policies in the Mining Sector: Fostering downstream linkages

    Local Content Policies in the Mining Sector: Fostering downstream linkages

    The paper, focused on downstream linkages, is part of a set of expert documents to substantiate the IGF Guidance for Governments on local content policies, released in July 2018.

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  • Briefing Note
    Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Interventions for greater participation

    Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Interventions for greater participation

    This case study highlights how to improve women's participation in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), complementing the IGF's previous report, Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Challenges and opportunities for greater participation.

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  • Report
    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Namibia

    IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Namibia

     An assessment of Namibia's mining law and policies, conducted by the IGF at the request of the Government of Namibia and in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

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