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Part E: Local Development, Labour, Health and Safety - 40. Local Development | 40.3 Infrastructure (Construction, Ownership, Control, Use)

Infrastructure provisions address whether and how a license holder may build installations for the operation or staff of a mine; who owns any improvements made on the land under the license; and how a license holder may use public goods (such as waterways and roads). These provisions may also address in particular what happens to such physical infrastructure after the mineral right has terminated, detailing whether former license holders may remove certain improvements on the land and assignments and the related costs. Such infrastructure may be provided by the state, may be constructed by companies, or be constructed by both in a public/private partnership. Outside of the primary mining law these provisions are often addressed in the mining licence or mine development agreement.

Infrastructure provisions in a mining law should broadly ensure that the country and surrounding community benefits from the infrastructure investments made by the mining company to the greatest extent possible. In some cases, this is achieved by requiring the infrastructure to be built and owned, or built, operated and subsequently transferred to the government or a regulated third party to ensure some access to other users. In other cases, it may be appropriate for a government to offer financial incentives to license holders who build infrastructure that can be used by the broader community and/or by third-parties (to the extent that this use does not interfere with the mining activities and that the requisite fees, if applicable, are paid to the license holder). The goal is clearly to move away from “enclave infrastructure” to infrastructure that promotes development. This may be an area where the ideal solutions have not yet emerged but it certainly requires joint planning between the government and mining companies.

Further issues to be considered may include:

  • Environmental management, safety and security (including waste, disturbance, soil erosion, traffic management etc. For further details see sections on environmental management in the Environment section)
  • Appropriate negotiation between the Government and the investor to share in an adequate proportion the burden of constructing and maintaining facilities that would be used both by the company and the population.
  • To the extent of third party use, whether users will be assessed a user fee and how the amount is determine.
  • Determine who will have the burden of maintenance of the new infrastructure.

Provisions under this topic should also reference applicable related legislation, if any, that details further rules and regulations.

40.3 Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) Building the infrastructure required for mining activities shall be done by the State or as part of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). In any event, the State shall either act directly or through an intermediary, in any entity which it owns or controls. Infrastructure projects are to be subject to competitive international invitations to tender and shall in all cases be consistent with the development plan for transport infrastructure which guarantees that third parties have access to the infrastructure.

(2) Regardless of how it is financed, transport infrastructure (railways, roads, bridges), ports, airports, developments and their annexes, water pipes and power lines, as well as any other permanent fixed assets, with the exception of production tools, developed for the use of a mining title must be transferred to the State free of charge once fully depreciation and within a maximum period of twenty (20) years.


Drawn from Guinea’s mining law (2011), this provision requires that essential mining-related infrastructure is either provided by the state, or is designed, built, and operated in the framework of a public-private partnership (PPP), thereby separating the ownership of the infrastructure from the ownership/ rights of the mining project. In addition, all infrastructure projects must be awarded by international tender and all transport infrastructure must guarantee access to third parties.

Finally, the provision requires that all infrastructure (transport, water and power transmission lines, etc.) must be transferred to the government free of charge after a period of time (limited to 20 years) that is necessary for a return on the infrastructure investment to be made.

40.3 Example 2:

Article [_]Use of Infrastructure

(1) Communication lines and other infrastructure installed or developed by the license holder within the area subject of the mining rights may be used by Government or third parties provided however, that fair compensation shall be paid and that such use does not unreasonably interfere with or obstruct the licence holder’s operations.

(2) All fixed assets installed by licence holder shall become the property of Government, upon termination of the mining rights, however, the movable assets shall remain the property of the mining rights holders.

(3) The Government shall have the option to acquire all or part of the moveable assets on terms to be set forth in the Mineral Development Agreement, and shall acquire title to all non- moveable fixed assets.”

(4) Fibre optic cable and other infrastructure installed or developed by the [licence holder] within the area subject of the mining rights may be used by Government or third parties provided however, that fair compensation shall be paid and that such use does not interfere with or hinder the licence holder’s operations.

(5)The Government shall retain the right-of-way along which any longitudinal infrastructure including, but not limited to, power lines, fiber optic cables, roads, and railways lines, constructed and or operated by the licence holder and may, in consultation with the licence holder lay down or permit third parties to lay down other infrastructure along those right-of-ways.


Drawn in part from Liberia’s mining law (2000), the sections provide that all fixtures installed by the company in the mining area belong to the government, whereas all moveables belong to the company. In addition, the Government retains the right-of-way along which all longitudinal infrastructure is built and may lay other types of infrastructure alongside the company’s infrastructure. Finally, the company is required to allow access to some of the infrastructure it installs in the mining area.