Mapping community development requirements in the mining sector

A catalogue of community development laws related to the mining sector has been created featuring legislative arrangements from 54 countries. All legislation can be seen in an interactive map, while all laws and community development agreements are searchable and can be downloaded.

April 2021 - ongoing
Eric Bisil

Senior researcher (law economies and justice), Natural Resources research group

Law, economies and justice
A collaborative programme of work on renegotiating the law to promote fairer, more sustainable economies

Communities and civil society organisations are mobilising to reshape the landscape of mineral extraction in many different ways.

From the boardroom to the classroom to the streets, a greater contestation of business as usual has created momentum for serious change. While some advocacy campaigns have demanded a stop to mining, others aim to derive greater benefits for mining-impacted communities and mineral-rich countries.

In response to these demands, legislative requirements for community development in the mining sector have risen exponentially over the last 15 years. However, the existence of legal requirements often fails to translate into meaningful development impacts.

More scrutiny of the mining sector’s local development mechanisms, in diverse geographies, is needed in order to deliver evidence-based policy advice on how to improve both law and policy as well as implementation.

IIED, the Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) have created a collection of community development laws for the mining sector to encourage and facilitate better research and policy. 

The resource, with all community development laws available to search via the map above and all legislation and agreements in the list below, includes relevant legislation from 54 countries. All documents are available to download in PDF format.

Also available below are a series of related resources developed by and for community development practitioners.

Contact us

We aim to promote exchange, research and dialogue and are keen to hear from you about this work. Are you:

  • Able to contribute legislation that is missing or more up to date? 
  • Keen to collaborate on a research project related to community development in the mining sector?
  • Interested in seeking policy expertise on this topic?
  • From a community or civil society organisation and have a story to share about a specific community development initiative?

If so, please get in touch [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].

Additional resources

Community development agreement databases and libraries

Open Community Contracts, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and Canadian International Resources and Development Institute

Community Development Agreements (CDA) Library, Sustainable Development Strategies Group

Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements Project Database, University of Melbourne

African Mining Legislation Atlas (users may search legislation by country, or compare two countries, and limit the scope of the search to 'community development')

Resource Contracts Mongolia (users can also limit search terms to 'local cooperation agreement')

Other resources

Mining and the SDGs: a 2020 status update, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and Responsible Mining Foundation (2020) 

Free, prior and informed consent: addressing political realities to improve impact. Plus politics, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (2020) (available in English, Portuguese and Spanish)

Mining community development in South Africa: a critical consideration of how the law and development approach the concept “community”,  Anri Heyns (2019), Law and Development Review 12(2) 

Integrated mine closure: good practice guide (PDF), Second Edition. International Council on Mining & Metals (2019)

Implementing the Ahafo Benefit Agreements: seeking meaningful community participation at Newmont’s Ahafo Gold Mine in Ghana (PDF), Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Independent Social Performance, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (2018)

Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Guidance for Governments: Local Content Policies (PDF) (2018), (available in English and French, with executive summaries in English, French, and Spanish) 

Consultation guidelines in the extractives sector (PDF), Canadian Executive Service Organization (2017) 

Community development requirements: laws, best practices and Community Development Agreements Database, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Guides for Communities Interacting with Investors, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. 

Mapping mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: an atlas, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, United Nations Development Programme and World Economic Forum (2016) 

University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy Extractives Hub, Luke Danielson (2016), Community Development

Emerging practices in community development agreements (PDF), Jennifer Loutit, Jacqueline Mandelbaum, Sam Szoke-Burke (2016), Columbia Center on Sustainable Development  

Why Agreements Matter (PDF), Rio Tinto (2016)

Meaningful community engagement in the extractive industries, Emma Wilson, Sarah Best, Emma Blackmore, Saule Ospanova (2016), IIED Issue Paper 

Foreign investment, law and sustainable development: a handbook on agriculture and extractive industries, Lorenzo Cotula (2016), IIED Issue paper

IBA community toolkit: negotiation and implementation of impact and benefit agreements, Ginger Gibson, Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh (2015), Gordon Foundation

Good practice guide: Indigenous Peoples and Mining (PDF), Second Edition, International Council on Mining & Metals (2015)

Understanding Company-Community Relations Toolkit, International Council on Mining & Metals (2015)

Subnational Revenue Management: improving local development through resource wealth (PDF), National Resource Governance Institute (2015)

Subnational Revenue Distribution: natural resource revenues in a decentralized context (PDF), National Resource Governance Institute (2015)

Community development requirements in mining laws, Kendra E Dupuy (2014), The Extractive Industries and Society vol. 1 no. 2 pp. 200-2015

Mining and local-level development: examining the gender dimensions of agreements between companies and communities, D Kemp, J Keenan (2014), Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining 

International Finance Corporation’s Guidance Notes: performance standards on environmental and social sustainability, International Finance Corporation Guidance Notes (2012) 

Performance Standard 7: Indigenous Peoples, International Finance Corporation (2012) 

Mining community development agreements source book (PDF), World Bank (March 2012) 

Model Mine Development Agreement (2011), International Bar Association

Guiding principles on business and human rights: implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework (PDF), United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (2011) 

A seat at the table: including the poor in decisions for development and environment, Joseph Foti, Lalanath de Silva (2010) 

Community Development Agreement: model regulations and example guidelines, James M Otto (2010), Washington, DC: World Bank

Mining foundations, trusts and funds: a sourcebook, World Bank (2010)

Why Gender Matters, D Kemp, J Keenan, J Gronow, J Davidson (2009), Rio Tinto