The IBA Model Mining Development Agreement [MMDA] Project.

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Transparency and Accountability

Policy, Legal and Contractual Framework

Sector Organization and Institutions

Fiscal Design and Administration

Revenue Management and Distribution

Sustainable Development

The IBA Model Mining Development Agreement [MMDA] Project.

The MMDA project is an initiative of the International Bar Association (IBA) through its Mining Law Committee to develop an international model mining agreement anchored on principles of international best practice. 

The Mining Law Committee is part of the IBA's Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law, the aim of which is to promote an interchange of information, ideas and views, and knowledge among individual members of the committee as well as international practitioners, as to the laws, practices and procedures affecting mineral and mining in the global legal community.

MMDA Resources:


MMDA Rationale and Purpose: the MMDA is focussed on improving transparency, quality and results of contract negotiations between host states and mining companies. The MMDA is designed as a practical tool for improving the negotiation of mining agreements between host countries and mining companies.

The MMDA was developed:

  • further to a detailed analysis of over 50 existing mine development agreements which also contain links to example clauses taken from existing agreements; and
  • in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including civil society and university based groups which have worked with the drafters to enhance that quality of content and a balance of concerns are reflected in the final product.


The MMDA project promotes best practices in the mining industry which includes efficient macro-economic management; an effective legal and regulatory framework; security of tenure; objective criteria for the grant of exploration and mining licences; limited administrative discretion; a defined role for government; efficient mining sector institutions and administrative capacity; physical and infrastructure services, competitive fiscal and taxation conditions and effective investment protection.

The MMDA is designed to serve as the basis of negotiations to improve investment agreements entered into by mining companies and host governments in jurisdictions where ‘mature’ mining codes are not in place, where a mining code requires supplementation by private contract, or as a template for agreements with state-owned mining entities. The MMDA is not intended to be a fixed policy document but a working web-based document which would be updated as circumstances warrant. In this regard several consultations are on-going to broaden the base of participation as well as ensure the legitimacy, transparency and openness of the project.

MMDA Policy Context: the developmental role played by foreign investment in improving living standards in mining communities; the role of mining companies in fostering sustainable development of mining communities; challenges of anti-corruption and call by international organizations, non-governmental and civil society organizations for increased transparency in international resource extraction agreements; the need for mining companies to obtain the support and goodwill of mining communities where they operate; and the need to provide mining companies with legal and regulatory certainty to secure stable investment conditions over the long-term.

MMDA Linkages: these have been established by the MMDA Committee with other governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in similar initiatives to draw on their experience and resources. These bodies include: the World BankRevenue Watch; the International Council on Mining and Minerals, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiativeand Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy.

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