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Worldwide Observations on the Latin American Mining Law Model

John P. Williams, Mining and Oil & Gas Development in Latin America (2001)

The results of the World Bank study were published in 1996 as World Bank Technical Paper No. 345, entitled A Mining Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean.3 Among other things, that study highlighted key features of the legal framework for minerals exploration and mining in the Latin American countries that had achieved the greatest success in promoting investment in, and modernization of, their mining sectors. The aggregate of those key features is what is referred to as “the Latin American Mining Law Model.” It is a model for legal reform based on those key features, representing a blend of concepts and procedures distilled from the actual laws and regulations of various Latin American countries.

Since publication of the World Bank study, the Latin American Mining Law Model has been presented to various reform-minded governments around the world as an alternative approach to the legal framework for promotion and regulation of resource development in their countries. Obviously, the model is not a simple mining law module that can be reproduced in countries with different cultures, histories, geography, legal systems and values. Rather, the model represents a way of thinking about mining law that offers reform-minded governments a fresh international perspective from which to analyze what is the most appropriate combination of substantive and procedural legal nor