Mining Cadastre & Licensing


1. Mineral Rights cadastre: Promoting Transparent Access to Mineral Resources 

This document proposes a set of generally applicable recommendations and good practices for creating a Mineral Rights Cadastre (MRC), an administrative body responsible for overseeing the process of granting and managing mineral licenses throughout a country. The document reviews lessons learned from World Bank-funded projects aimed at reforming mineral rights management and assesses the impacts and benefits of the implemented changes. The document focuses on the MRC system as a key regulatory agency of mining sector administration. This study is also intended to fill a gap in the literature on mining sector administration, as few publications since roughly the 1930s have been dedicated to the overall analysis of MRCs, particularly in relation to modern and recent mining cadastral practices. While the overall concepts and principles presented in this document are intended to be universally valid and applicable, there is no single solution to mining sector development, and it would be unrealistic to believe that actions that have been successful in one country can be directly transferred to others. The MRC of any given country will need to be adapted to that particular country's culture, tradition, existing legal framework, development capacity, and other factors. This document describes the trade-offs that may be necessary to arrive at an acceptable solution; using case studies, it also highlights concrete applications that can be recommended, based on typical country circumstances.

2.  A Mining Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean

This report assesses the current state of the mining industry in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), identifies and analyzes constraints to its growth, proposes approaches to implement the required framework, and extracts lessons from the ongoing reforms which may apply in LAC or any other region. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 examine the significance and structure of the industry, the legal and fiscal frameworks, and the institutional arrangements existing in LAC. Chapters 4 and 5 deal with local medium and small mines, and with environmental and social concerns, with special emphasis on countries where the World Bank Group has, or has had in recent years, a significant work program in mining - namely, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. The modest coverage of Brazil, which has the largest mining sector by value of production of any LAC country, reflects the limited scope of World Bank Group activities recently in the Brazilian mining sector; there is no assessment of Cuba for similar reasons. The report proposes a framework for achieving mineral sector growth that consists of four main elements - establishing a modern and competitive legal and fiscal framework for the sector; reforming public mining institutions; encouraging medium and small mining development; and addressing environmental and social impacts - which if successfully adopted should lead to a sustained expansion of environmentally acceptable mineral sector growth. 

3. Granting Mineral Rights- A good practice note

This report describes the different principles that govern the allocation of mineral rights, proposes a best practice for guiding the mineral rights granting system and proposes a institutional framework for the implementation of those rights.

4.  Mineral Resource Tenders and Mining Infrastructure Projects Guiding Principles

Numerous recent changes in the mining industry have led governments to an increased interest in the tender process as a means of awarding mineral rights. High demand and high mineral prices driven by rapid economic growth in countries such as Brazil, China, and India, and the emergence of new global companies in these countries, have resulted in increased competition to obtain access to mineral resources worldwide. The two parts of this paper, the guidance/good practices and the case study, are presented together even though they do not directly draw on each other's conclusions. Both examine guiding principles and good practices for governments to use in attracting mineral investments. Although it is noted by the authors that the Aynak tender was not a perfect process, occurring as it did in a difficult environment with a deficient in-country capacity and myriad investment challenges, it is a relevant example of what is involved and what must be considered by a government in the process and content of a tender. The paper is expected to motivate long-term strategic thinking among decision makers in mineral-rich countries on ways to begin mine development with the end in mind. Its intention is not to prescribe a set of actions, but rather to inform possible ways of maximizing the local content from mining projects which will need to be adjusted in each unique case.

5. Sector Licensing Studies: mining sector

This report is intended to provide guidance on best practices in mining licensing, based on examples from low, middle and high income countries in Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. It is not a 'how-to guide' or a licensing implementation toolkit, but rather identifies certain common features of successful mining licensing regimes worldwide that other national or sub-national jurisdictions might usefully incorporate in new mining laws and regulations or revisions or existing ones. The case studies and other examples of good and bad practice are intended to provide a cross-section by geography and by income level, and they demonstrate that the prevalence of good and bad practices is not simply a function of income level. Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world, has in many respects a better licensing regime than either South Africa or the U.S. State of Wisconsin. In considering these complex issues, it has proven difficult to confine the discussion purely to questions of licensing. Discussion of licensing invariably invokes reference to overall policy and investment climate issues, environmental protection, labor law, taxation, national and sub-national jurisdiction, land tenure, and much more. This report makes no attempt to address all of these in detail but refers to them in reference to their interactions with and effect on, licensing itself. Far more detailed research on mineral policy, taxation, investment climate, and other issues has been carried out, some of it referred to in this report and cited in the footnotes and bibliography.