"International Best Practice" in Mining Who Decides and How - and How Does It Impact Law Development?

By Williams, John P. | Georgetown Journal of International Law, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

"International Best Practice" in Mining Who Decides and How - and How Does It Impact Law Development?


Williams, John P., Georgetown Journal of International Law


I. INTRODUCTION

One way in which international law influences international business decisions and behavior in developing countries is through the development of what is called "international best practice" and the promotion of the adoption and implementation of that practice in national regulatory frameworks. How that process works is the focus of this paper.

The concept of international best practice represents a kind of prevailing global or regional consensus (or compromise) among representatives of government, industry and international development finance institutions as to what constitute appropriate ground rules and protections for the achievement of the private objectives of industry and the public goals of government. This concept rests, of course, upon the optimistic assumption that the primary private goals of industry and the primary public goals of governments are or can be compatible.

Ideally, international best practice can be thought of as creating a condition of equilibrium and convergence between public and private goals in a particular industry which, when attained in a jurisdiction, enables the maximization of both private and public benefits from the relevant industrial activity. Practically, international best practice is a set of policies, norms, procedures and protections that industry and lawmakers in developing countries, especially, can look to as a template that has produced relatively predictable results in other countries. Assuming those results are politically desirable, the extent to which they can be achieved by adopting and implementing international best practice in a new jurisdiction will depend on a number of factors, including the intrinsic attractiveness of the new jurisdiction to private industry, corporate and political will, appropriate adaptation of international best practice to the national environment, and the absence of significant changes in the international markets involved.

This paper considers how the evolving concept of international best practice affects international business decisions and transactions in the hard rock mining industry, based primarily on the author's practical experience in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In particular, the paper focuses on the complexities of implementing international best practice in a national context and on the necessary conditions for successful implementation of a regulatory framework for mining based on international best practice.

II. THE INTERNATIONAL MINING INDUSTRY

The international mining industry has a number of rather unique characteristics that pose significant challenges for both companies and regulators. Although the markets for metallic and precious mineral commodities are global, and companies (whether multinational or national) compete internationally for resources and sales, mining is fundamentally a local industry. It is regulated by national, provincial and municipal laws and regulations. Mining companies must go where the minerals are found. They invest in mines that are not movable and are subject to the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are located. Unlike many manufacturing companies, mining companies cannot move their operations to another jurisdiction in order to benefit from cheaper labor, better infrastructure for shipping, or lower taxes--unless they obtain access to an attractive mineral deposit there. They do, however, generally earn their revenues offshore in hard currency and thereby avoid foreign exchange risk, except to the extent of currency repatriation requirements imposed by host country regulations.

Because mining companies must go where the minerals are located, and must compete for resources, they are often among the first major investors in countries that are newly open to private investment and that lack well developed legal frameworks and protections for investment. Thus, mining companies often compete for resources in countries with high political risk. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"International Best Practice" in Mining Who Decides and How - and How Does It Impact Law Development?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.