The Investment Treaty News network website describes the efforts being made by the Mining Law Committee of the International Bar Association in order to develop a Model Mining Development Agreement (MMDA). The MMDA was conceived to provide a different starting point for the negotiation of mining contracts between host governments and mining companies, one based expressly on promoting sustainable social, economic and environmental development through more equitable and transparent mining agreements.
The MMDA sets out an agenda for the negotiation of the so-called "social license" to operate that allows governments, companies and stakeholders to identify what may be needed in the specific circumstances of the project in question.
The MMDA is a web-based tool that is able to address different circumstances rather than seeking to provide a one-size fits all model. It provides sample clauses taken from some 50 leading examples of existing mine development agreements. Nevertheless, much of the value is anticipated to be found in the table of contents which contains links to the sample clauses, and which serves as a menu for parties to a negotiation and potentially impacted communities to consider during the negotiation of a mining development agreement.