Negotiating Mining Agreements with Pacific Countries

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
This paper briefly discusses the negotia- tion of the more important provisions in agree- ments for exploration and mining rights with Pacific countries. LAND RIGHTS Land rights are complicated and sometimes controversial in many of the Pacific countries. In some countries, a company will have to deal with land owners directly; in others, the government will act as intermediary. Inevit- ably, a company will have to deal with both. Mining companies need to be sensitive to the culture and particular interests of the land owners and of their history in defending their rights. The issues are too complicated to be dealt with here. Some mining companies have spent, and will continue to spend, considerable time trying to understand them. It will " require patience, perseverance, sensitivity and unflagging optimism. The better advised companies will ensure that their local repre- sentatives get to know the land owners, under- stand their concerns, and will pursue a policy of keeping them informed on a regular basis of all of the company's activities and proposed activities. Good community relations are the keystone for good mining operations in the Pacific. Most countries will require the submission of an environmental impact statement so that they will know in advance what effects a pro- posted mining operation are expected to have on the environment and how it is intended to deal with them. They will also want to approve the company's environmental reclamation and rehabilitation plan. Let's face facts right away - mining, by its very nature, is not going to improve the environment. There will be waste discharges, emissions and deposits. They will affect the land, air and water and hence human, marine and animal life and vegetation. There will be sounds and odours and the esthetics of mining operations, though perhaps pleasing to geolo- gists and mining engineers, will not please Others.
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