Over the years Baker McKenzie's Global Mining Guide has provided a global perspective on the mining regulations of the world's major jurisdictions in this sector. Once again our Firm is proud to provide its readers with an overview of both the main mining regulations and how legal norms are today shaping future trends.
It is clear that many of the countless issues that concern us in today's mining industry will have a direct impact on the business of mining in the future, and as active industry participants we should always consider what we will leave behind as the heritage and teachings in an industry of this cyclical nature on which so many countries in the world still depend on today.
Of the many issues on the table, perhaps one of the most significant is the current trade war between the United States and China, which is affecting and will, for still some time to come, continue to affect the value of metals and minerals around the world and the global economy in general.
Answers to many of the most pressing questions that surround us in the industry today are still unclear : What will the nature of the mining industry be like in the next few years? How much automation will there be and what role will human intervention still have? Which minerals will be indispensable and which minerals will finally be replaced by tireless human ingenuity?
Other important challenges for the mining sector include the vertiginous speed of technological change, the increasingly intense social expectations and the impact of giants such as China, the United States and India, on the global trends in the industry.
This guide seeks to deepen the understanding of the mining sector, how minerals are treated normatively in different jurisdictions; how each country's legislation gradually seeks to achieve sustainable development and environmental protection in the face of imminent climate change; and what regulatory measures are in place to attract foreign investment, a significant driver for many of the mining-sector dependent economies.
We hope that readers will successfully tackle the preliminary mining legal questions to then be able to venture an answer to the trickier queries, such as what to do about water scarcity? how to deal with pollution problems? and how, and to what extent, should countries deal with the rehabilitation and closure of mining sites?
Without further ado, we invite you to continue reading, hoping that we can contribute to clarify, at least in part, the vast legal world of mining in each of the national legislative frameworks here discussed.
Antonio Ortúzar Vicuña
Chair, Global Mining & Metals Sub-Industry Group
Santiago de Chile, October 2019