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Legal and Policy Environment

Legal and Policy Environment: A mature modern legislative regime is the one that provides clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Such a regime provides the foundation of good governance and contribute to sustainable development in all aspects of social and economic life.

To this end, governments should consider:

The ongoing generation of and access to geological information

This involves the generation of baseline geological, topographical and other information for national land-use planning, and making that information readily available to individuals, communities and other civil society actors so that consultations between different parties can take place on an equal footing.

The revision and periodic updating of mining codes and standards

Mining codes and standards must be revised and updated to reflect changing knowledge and best practices. They should deal with all aspects of mining from exploration to closure and post‐closure management. Data and reporting requirements should be made explicit in exploration and operating licences so that authorities can make informed decisions.

A robust permitting process, requiring:

  • Mining entities, in preparing their applications for a mining permit, to consult with communities and other stakeholders at all stages of the assessment and planning process and to document the nature and results of their engagement program in the permit application;
  • The submission of integrated social, economic and environmental assessments. In addition to a baseline description of current conditions, permit submissions should describe possible risks and impacts of the mining activities together with proposed mitigation or management measures;
  • The permit submissions to identify and quantify opportunities and propose programs that lead to the creation of sustainable benefits over the life of the project;
  • The permit application to be considered complete only when it includes acceptable plans for the eventual closure of the mine and the provision of adequate financial assurance to cover the costs of closure and any ongoing monitoring;
  • The permit applications, when applicable, to address indigenous peoples, cultural heritage, resettlement, and community safety and security issues;
  • Mining entities to have a process of consultation that provides affected communities with an opportunity to express their views on project risks and impacts, and be consulted on the development of mitigation measures; and
  • Completion of the process in a timely, transparent, unambiguous and consistent manner.

The IGF’s flagship policy guidance and assessment tool is the Mining Policy Framework (MPF). The MPF lays out international best practices in six key pillars of mining policy and law: the legal and policy environment; financial benefit optimization; socioeconomic benefit optimization; environmental management; mine closure and post-mining transitions; and artisanal and small-scale mining.