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A framework for policy formulation for small-scale mines: the case of coal in China

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The effective management of small-scale mines is one of the major challenges for governments in the mining sector. Small-scale mining may bring tangible, short-term benefits to the communities involved. However, these benefits are frequently outweighed by the costs incurred in terms of illness, injury, pollution, waste of natural resources and market distortions. Governments, international agencies and advisers are generally able to draw up lists of actions which are required to regulate and manage small-scale mines more effectively, but turning plans into sustained action has proved more difficult. Two aspects of policy implementation are crucial to success: the alignment of interests, and the attitude and effectiveness of government. Using a case study of township and village coal mines in China, this article develops an approach to analysing these issues that could assist regional policy makers and advisers in formulating policy, in identifying key obstacles to policy implementation, and in identifying particular parties which need to be infiuenced or educated in order for the policy to succeed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, 2: Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, 3: Department of Law, Shanxi Financial-Economic University, Taiyuan, People ’s Republic of China, 4: Institute for Quantitative and Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, People ’s Republic of China

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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