The Mining Law Review: Editor's Preface

I am pleased to have participated in the preparation of the ninth edition of The Mining Law Review. The Review is designed to be a practical, business-focused 'year in review' analysis of recent changes, developments and their effects, and a look forward at expected trends.

This book gathers the views of leading mining practitioners from around the world and I warmly thank all the authors for their work and insights.

The first part of the book is divided into 19 chapters, each dealing with mining in a particular jurisdiction. These countries were selected because of the importance of mining to their economies and to ensure a broad geographical representation. Mining is global but the business of financing mining exploration, development and – to a lesser extent – production is concentrated in a few countries, Canada and the United Kingdom being dominant. As a result, the second part of the book has three chapters that focus on financing.

The advantage of a comparative work is that knowledge of the law and developments and trends in one jurisdiction may assist those in other jurisdictions. Although the chapters are laid out uniformly for ease of comparison, each author had complete discretion as to content and emphasis.

At the time of writing, the covid-19 pandemic is continuing. It has greatly reduced economic activity throughout the world and the road to recovery will be long and uncertain.

Governments are trying their best to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, but consumer demand is down and certain sectors of the economy (e.g., transportation, hospitality) have been flattened. We are very far from the Goldilocks scenario of 2019 with steady world growth.

The impact of the pandemic on mining has been uneven. Taken as a whole, mining has done better than many sectors but it is undeniable that the pandemic has materially affected the demand for most minerals. This having been said, cuts in production because of the pandemic have helped maintain the price of some minerals (e.g., iron ore).

The story for gold and other precious metals continues to be a favourable one. Extraordinary increases in the monetary supply of the US, the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and US–China trade frictions have contributed to the surge in gold, silver and other precious metals.

It is unclear what the next 12 months will bring and we can only hope that new vaccines and therapeutics will be developed and distributed in the not-too-distant future.

As you consult this book, you will find more on topics apposite to jurisdictions of specific interest to you, and I hope you will find the book useful and responsive.

Erik Richer La Flèche
Stikeman Elliott LLP
September 2020

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