Stakeholder Perceptions and Suggestions: Responsible Mineral Development Initiative 2010

World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
Publication date
October 2010
Oil, Gas & Mining
Stakeholder Engagement
Free/Pay for content
The World Economic Forum’s Responsible Mineral Development Initiative (RMDI) was launched to explore the views, priorities and concerns of key stakeholders on mineral development, and to seek answers on what works, what does not, where discontent and frustration most commonly arise, and where improvements should occur. This report presents the preliminary findings of research covering 13 countries in three regions. It is offered as a basis for further discussion to determine additional research, policy and action oriented deliverables of this initiative for 2011 and beyond.
Section 1 introduces the project and explains the research methodology. Section 2 summarizes the findings of the research and ideas raised by stakeholders. Sections 3 to 5 go into more detail on perspectives and suggestions of stakeholders in the 13 countries: in Africa (section 3), Ghana, Liberia, South Africa and Tanzania; in East Asia (section 4), Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea; and in Latin America (section 5), Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
Key findings from across the stakeholder groups and countries included:
1) Insufficient understanding of the nature of the mining industry itself, including the timeframe in which benefits may be realized, can lead to unrealistic expectations on the part of communities, civil society and governments.
2) There is a major concern among different stakeholders about the integration of mining activities into the host countries’ overall economies in which mineral investment flows, including the demand for more local content.
3) In this respect, Mineral Development Agreements (MDAs) – as tools for mineral development – can act as a framework for a constructive ongoing relationship between investor and state – and, potentially, society – by allowing stakeholders to evaluate the benefits and impacts of mining in a structured and transparent way.
4) MDAs may include provisions that go beyond strict legal compliance, for example regarding community development funds, local employment and training opportunities, environmental protection and remediation, which may help to define and secure an operation’s social licence to operate. 
5) There is some concern, however, around the process of mineral development as such: this includes that, when not negotiated transparently, MDAs can provide opportunities for graft, and by filling the gaps where regulatory environments are inadequate they may hold back necessary regulatory reforms; furthermore, a number of stakeholders from communities and civil society feel that they’re not being heard and included enough during the process. 
6) Finally, lack of government capacity to ensure compliance through contract monitoring and implementation/enforcement is a frequently cited problem. Insufficient transparency of agreements can also make it difficult to know whether companies are fully meeting their obligations under them.