Chapter 4: The State, mining and property institutions
The double movement also operates at the level of more detailed, technical prescriptions relating to property, taxation, environmental assessment and mine closure. This chapter on the State, mining and property shows how property institutions have played a critical role in disembedding the market for mineral exploration and exploitation and securing a stable supply of mineral raw materials. Property laws entrench two conceptual distinctions: a separation of rights to minerals from rights to land, and a distinction between rights to minerals as such from rights to extract them. The State is instituted as a centralized authority over both realms of rights: as national landlord over mineral rights, and as concessioning authority over the right to extract. Pivoting around these two major roles, the State undertakes a variety of functions - maintaining a mineral rights cadastre, archiving geological knowledge, ensuring the efficacy and primacy of mining, allocating mining rights and providing security of tenure. Taken together, these property institutions enable States to promote mining aggressively in private and State-led forms of extractivism.
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