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Mining Law and Policy

Mining Law and Policy

International Perspectives

By John Southalan


Mining Law and Policy: International Perspectives explains the key legal issues in the regulation of mining. The book starts with an overview of the mineral sector and broader forces which influence (and are impacted by) mineral regulation including mineral economics, sustainable development and other policy considerations. In addition to a broad summary of how governments regulate mining, the book follows with seven chapters examining the legal issues in:

  • mineral rights/permits (including types and allocation of rights, dealings in mineral rights, impairment of rights);
  • land access & use (including the interaction of mining and other land uses, ancillary rights for mining);
  • mine development & production (including typical contract forms, workplace safety, government approvals, local content);
  • environmental & social issues (including impact assessment, human rights, artisanal mining, indigenous people, mine rehabilitation);
  • financial & investment issues (including market regulation, government revenues & taxes, mining finance & accounting, non-government royalties);
  • government agreements (including their scope, ownership & control issues, stabilisation, renegotiation, interaction with third parties); and procedural matters (including mining registers, dispute resolution, corruption, and regulatory impact assessment).

The book is extensively referenced with material drawn from over 50 countries, 300 laws and court decisions, and 800 secondary materials including books, articles and government reports.


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Book aims & scope
Mineral sector overview
Mineral economic & policy issues
Law 'refresher'
Trends in regulation generally
Sustainable development
Overview of mining regulation
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 2 - Mineral Rights

Ownership of minerals
Types of mineral rights
Allocation of mineral rights
From exploration to exploitation
Dealing with mineral rights
Ending and impairment of mineral rights
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 3 - Land Access and Use

Entitlements as part of mineral right
Interaction with other land uses and users
Integrated land-use planning
Ancillary needs
Compensation for mining impacts
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 4 - Mine Development and Production

Commercial contracts
Workplace issues
Government approvals
Government involvement/control in operations
Local content
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 5 - Environmental and Social Issues

Environmental aspects
Human rights
Artisanal and Small Scale Mining
Indigenous people
Post mining issues
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 6 - Financial and Investment Issues

International investment law
Market regulation
Government revenue
Mining finance & accounting
Non-government revenues
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 7 - Government Agreements

Agreement parameters
Stabilisation & renegotiation
Implementing Agreements
Agreements and third parties
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 8 - Administration of Mining Law

Mining register
Dispute resolution
Law reform/change and mining
Regulatory Impact Assessment
Chapter Quiz
Chapter Endnotes

Chapter 9 - Answers to Chapter Questions


Laws & cases
Commentary, reports and other materials


Finally, international mining law and policy are presented in one excellent and practical book. Practitioners, non-lawyers, professors and students should all study John Southalan's book and keep it on their shelves both as a summary of the field and as an incredible resource for deeper research.

Overall, this is a practical book that will be useful on many levels. For students of mining law and policy, the book makes the entire subject matter easily accessible and interesting. For professors, the book is an excellent starting point for presenting the material by providing thought-provoking questions to consider and sample tests (with answers).

For practitioners in private practice, government positions or within industry, this book will provide a well-organised and much-needed point of entry into any specific issue being addressed. However, the book is also a source from which can be taken an easily understandable basic education in law and policy that attorneys are often asked to provide to clients, regulators, policy-makers and non-lawyers in the industry.

Southalan has provided a great service to everyone involved in mining law and policy by the publication of this book. Read full review...

Robert Bassett, Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Vol 31, 2013

Mining Law and Policy is an impressive resource text for those in the mining or legal sector. … [Its] strength lies in its ability to be both a legal and policy summary text and a collection of reference material to direct further study.

As an internationally focussed book that draws from the experiences of over 50 countries, this text serves as a useful companion piece for the industry and students alike. … To those without a legal or mining background this will be received as a grounding text, while to those with core knowledge of the subject, this text will serve as an exceptional policy and resource reference tool. Read full review...

Marianne Rose, Brief, November 2012

Mining Law and Policy: International Perspectives is more than a summary of mining law. It delves into the policy behind the development of the law; it considers subjects such as commercial issues, negotiation protections, tenure agreements whereby the mining company is assured of tenure for a time certain, joint ventures, the important topic of workplace safety, government approvals and devotes the better part of a chapter to environmental issues, a topic of interest at present in this State, with the coal seam gas debate that is occurring at present. ... I commend the author for the level of detail, annotation and discussion, all of which are first rate. Read full review...

Brian Morgan, Hearsay, October 2012, 57


Review_Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Vol 31, 2013

Review_Brief, Nov 2012


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Published 23 July 2012
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862878495
Australian RRP $125.00
International Price $115.00
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