THE EVOLVING LEGAL REGIME GOVERNING ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITY IN THE MINING INDUSTRY

World Mining Congress

*A. C. Drost, and J.-A. Pariseau

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin

800 Place Victoria, Suite 3700

Montréal, Canada H4Z 1E9

(*Corresponding author: adrost@fasken.com)

The mining industry has been put under closer scrutiny in recent years, which has led to the adoption of a plethora of initiatives in countries around the world and by international organizations, some voluntary and others mandatory, governing economic, ethical, social and environmental practices of this industry. In order to plan appropriately, secure project financing, build value and manage risks, it is imperative to identify and understand the application of this new and evolving regime, which can be described under the general label of corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) law, and to incorporate compliance policies into the day-to-day operations of mining companies. Our paper and presentation will describe this new legal framework, which includes both “soft” law and “hard” law adopted at the international and domestic level that governs the actions of mining companies, particularly when operating in developing countries.

Our paper and presentation will describe this new legal framework, which includes both “soft” law and “hard” law adopted at the international and domestic level that governs the actions of mining companies, particularly when operating in developing countries.

While the notions of hard and soft law may seem abstract and grounded in legal theory, this paper shall demonstrate how these concepts concretely apply to companies in general, and to mining companies in particular. An analysis of the recent case law in this area as well as examples of corporate “best practices” will illustrate the application of this body of law. As will be demonstrated through the case law, non-compliance of CSR law (both “soft” law and “hard” law) can lead to economic penalties, difficulties in accessing capital, loss of social licenses and even the withdrawal of permits and concessions. This confirms that now more than ever, ethics and sustainable practices in mining are fundamental to building a successful business model.
Keywords: mining; Labour; Protection; Guidelines; Pillars; pillar; Jurisdictions; Environment;
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