McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Mining Concessions

A concession is a contract granting rights to the land or property given by a legal entity such as a government. Once a mining company has gained an exploration concession, they have claim over that land and other mining companies cannot search for minerals in that area.

International Labour Organization: Convention No.169

The International Labour Organization’s legally binding convention 169 was created in 1989 concerning the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries. This has implications for the mining sector because it requires giving power to the indigenous communities in which most mining projects are located, specifically allowing for the indigenous populations to decide their own development priorities. This means that though the sub-surface resources are still owned by the state, consultation must be given prior to granting access to the land for exploitation.

This is often the source of tension in Latin America because the manner in which mining companies consult indigenous groups is frequently contested. The difference between consultation and consent in communities is also a point of contention.