Back to Publications

Define the Scope of the Management Committee Now or by Dispute Resolution Later

Anthony A. Zoobkoff, Brian E. Abraham, Proceedings of 50th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2004)

Every mining project will face key operational issues in each phase of its development. When the project is to be developed jointly, the relationship the parties have structured to deal with those issues may create an added risk to the orderly development of the project and may affect the project's success. The parties should anticipate and address the key issues in a practical way at the outset. The alternative to having an effective decision-making structure is to see a project stall when an unexpected event arises while the parties try to find not only the solution, but perhaps some process for reaching the solution. This article is not intended to be a clause-by-clause review of all of the provisions that might impact the management committee's role in a joint venture. It is intended to present ideas and concepts--the decision as to whether the points are relevant and whether they should be included in the agreement and the drafting of such provisions is in the hands of the parties. As noted below, unless otherwise indicated, this article contemplates a two-party joint venture.

Joint venture precedents, like all precedents, are useful as guidelines but there are many variables in mineral joint ventures. There is an obvious need for flexibility as one size does not fit all. Though this paper will raise a number of issues, the authors do not suggest that each issue b