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|The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group (WBG), requires all IFC-financed projects to comply with its environmental and social policies and guidelines. IFC's review process involves an environmental and social assessment and the implementation of an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) that will set forth the necessary actions to bring the operation into compliance. This paper provides an overview of the environmental and social policies and guidelines that apply to mining projects and examines how WBG/IFC policies and guidelines are applied to mining projects in developing countries. In addition, it includes a review of the increased emphasis IFC is giving to social issues over the past several years based on the existing WBG policies. IFC’s process for the environmental and social review of proposed investments is briefly discussed. The paper focuses on how IFC emphasis has shifted from the traditional environmental and impact mitigation analyses of a few years ago to the integrated social and environmental awareness, action (EAP), and implementation programs (social plans) required today. Today, IFC's focus is to promote sustainable development by investing in projects that directly benefit local communities and the environment. Examples of these changes will be highlighted by a review of recent investments located in West Africa. The goalposts have not moved, but the rules of the game have become tougher.|