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Land & Biodiversity

Mining Center

Understanding mining and its regulation is important for shaping a sustainable environmental policy in the U.S. and other mining countries, as well as for forging new regional and international frameworks. Established in 1987, ELI’s Mining Center provides timely and reliable policy research on the laws, policies, and institutions that regulate the mining of fuel and nonfuel minerals in the U.S. and abroad.

A variety of federal, state and local laws address the environmental effects of mining in the United States. To assist regulators, operators and the public in understanding how this patchwork of laws works, ELI’s Mining Center has produced unique reference publications. For example, ELI’s Hard Rock Mining: State Approaches to Environmental Protection and Environmental Regulation of Coal Mininghave become standard works in the field. We have produced other studies, and conducted workshops, conferences, and dialogues on effective mining regulation in the U.S. Citizens, federal and state agencies, and other communities consult ELI’s Mining Center for reliable analysis and information.

The Mining Center is addressing the environmental and sustainable development challenges brought about by the globalization of the industry. As major mining companies expand abroad, collaboration among countries in developing environmental standards is critical. From business, social and environmental perspectives, there is an interest in countries developing sound laws and policies.

Our report Pollution Prevention in Mining: A Proposed Framework for the Americas, published in 2000, provides a comparative analysis of how eight countries have policy tools that can promote pollution prevention in the mining sector. The findings of this study outline the key elements of a legislative pollution prevention strategy and were presented at major workshops and conferences throughout the Americas. ELI’s Mining Center has also worked on improving community participation in the environmental impact assessment process throughout the hemisphere, and has collaborated with partners in Peru, Chile, Mexico and Canada in a comparative study on this topic. We have provided technical advice to the Bureau of Land Management in connection with its participation in the annual Mining Ministries of the Americas, a regional policymaking body. ELI is also working globally with the Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development Forum meetings to identify new policies and tools to improve environmental and social conditions and increase public accountability.

Related Publications
Related Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
  • Mining Ministries of the Americas: Sustainable Development Symposium — Las Vegas, NV (2000)
  • Regulations and Enforcement of Environmental Aspects of Mining — LaPaz, Bolivia (1995)
  • Inter-American Mining Program — Argentina (1995)