Mining and Water: A Perspective on Legal and Regulatory Risks
Water and Communities
Nov 30, 2015
Maennling, N., Thomashausen, S., Nielsen, D.. and Vempati, A.R.
This brief outlines the importance of taking into account legal and regulatory risks in investment decisions regarding copper and gold mines and briefly discusses the research the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is conducting to qualify and quantify those risks. In relation to the quantification of such risks, the brief summarizes the key legal and regulatory risks associated with water use and discharge in mining, lists the existing water-related risk indices and tools that can be applied to assess those risks in mining operations and indicates the approach CCSI is taking to quantify the risks. The brief then provides a short overview of the waterrelated issues that are regulated by national legislation in the jurisdictions reviewed in terms of water usage and the allocation of water rights to mines, water discharge requirements, and other safeguards to minimize, or at least monitor, the water footprint of mining operations. Finally, the brief sets out the next steps CCSI will be undertaking to conclude its research.