State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability
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State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability

Tracy-Lynn Field

States in mineral-rich jurisdictions must promote mining as a development industry just as they must protect people and environment from the worst excesses of extractivism. State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability explores how the State’s role in facilitating a developmental and sustainable mining industry has been defined. In doing so, this astute book considers the impact of the policies and laws of mineral-rich States themselves, multilateral international governance institutions, industry associations, and environmental justice advocates in the areas of property relations, mineral taxation, environmental management and mine closure.
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Chapter 6: The State, mining and environmental assessment

Tracy-Lynn Field


This chapter extends the analysis of Polanyi’s double movement in the system of global mining production to the area of the State, mining and various forms of environmental assessment (EA): environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, health impact assessment and cumulative impact assessment. Over the past few decades a wide range of interested parties have participated in developing these instruments as a means to mediate mining’s most deleterious impacts on society. Through the various forms of EA, the State institutionalizes various forms of foresight that draw upon principles of prevention and precaution and rest upon scientific expertise. The State must use the knowledge gained to set boundaries, decide whether and how mining should proceed in its jurisdiction. A third element of the State’s protective role is to entrench democratic decisionmaking, or at least give the appearance of doing so. The real protection afforded by these processes, however, is frequently only paper thin.

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