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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.

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    State of Sustainability Initiatives Review: Standards and the Extractive Economy

    This report examines voluntary sustainability initiatives (VSIs), and their aim to promote sustainable production practices in the mining sector.

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    Green Conflict Minerals: The fuels of conflict in the transition to a low-carbon economy

    Green Conflict Minerals: The fuels of conflict in the transition to a low-carbon economy

    This reports seeks to understand how the transition to a low-carbon economy—and the minerals and metals required to make that shift—could affect fragility, conflict and violence dynamics in mineral-rich states.

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  • Guidebook
    IGF Guidance for Governments: Local content policies

    IGF Guidance for Governments: Local content policies

    This new IGF guidance document aims to help resource-rich countries find more sustainable and inclusive economic solutions, fostering stronger linkages between mineral resources and the rest of the economy.

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    Why Social Innovation Is Crucial in Mining

    Social innovation has been recognized as crucial for the future of the mining industry. In this blog, we interview Alec Crawford, Senior Researcher at IISD, about his thoughts on social innovation in the sector.

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  • Report
    Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Challenges and opportunities for greater participation

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

    This report from the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development highlights the key challenges and opportunities women in ASM face, including access to finance, access to equipment and technology, institutional support and services and more.

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  • Report
    Innovation in Mining: Report to the 2018 International Mines Ministers Summit

    Innovation in Mining: Report to the 2018 International Mines Ministers Summit

    This report highlights the pressing need for innovation in the mining sector, as productivity has decreased by 30 per cent, commodity price fluctuations are squeezing profit margins and costs continue to rise.

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  • Blog
    Why We Should Foster Economic Independence for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

    Why We Should Foster Economic Independence for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

    How can the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector support female miners and ultimately foster their economic independence?

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  • Blog
    How Clean Innovation Is Benefitting the Mining Sector

    How Clean Innovation Is Benefitting the Mining Sector

    Did you know mining companies are getting innovative to help benefit their business and the communities in which they operate? Renewable energies - such as solar, wind and geothermal - represent a significant opportunity for clean innovation for the mining sector.

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  • Report
    2017 IGF Annual Report

    2017 IGF Annual Report

    Read the IGF's 2017 Annual Report, highlighting successes throughout the year and how leveraging mining for sustainable development can limit negative impacts and ensure financial benefits are shared.

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  • Report
    Meeting Report on Regional Training for Francophone Africa on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

    Meeting Report on Regional Training for Francophone Africa on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

    More than 40 government representatives from 17 African countries attended a workshop in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from February 26 to March 1, 2018 on how to implement the IGF’s guidance on managing artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). 

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