The Peter A. Allard School of Law Executive Learning Program in Mining Law and Sustainability

This course is part of The Peter A. Allard School of Law Executive Learning Program in Mining Law and Sustainability.

Gain literacy and knowledge of legal and regulatory frameworks that govern sustainable practices of mines in Canada and internationally throughout the business lifecycle. 

Five online modules presented over five weeks explore important legal frameworks and how they are applied throughout the mining lifecycle. Examine three key sustainability issues—human rights, anti-corruption and climate change —as well as Indigenous peoples’ participation, laws, governance and rights.

Week 1 — Introduction to the Business of Mining and Law

Explore the primary international legal frameworks that govern natural resource extraction, in the context of sustainability, Indigenous communities, human rights, anti-corruption and climate change. In this module:

  • understand how international laws affect national laws
  • explore themes of colonization and the quest for self-determination of Indigenous peoples and communities
  • describe the structure of the mining industry, and why it differs from other industries, by highlighting the roles of junior companies and majors.
  • recognize the main legal instruments that regulate human rights, anti-corruption efforts and climate change.

Week 2 — Indigenous Peoples, Law, Governance and Consent

Look at the mining industry through the lenses of colonization, truth and reconciliation and gender. Using local and international case studies, discuss:

  • the history of residential schools
  • the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the path forward for a renewed relationship between Canada and its Indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous law, traditional governance and Indian Act policies
  • free prior and informed consent (FPIC)
  • explore why the above is critical for the survival of the mining industry.

Week 3 - Exploration

This module dives into mining exploration in detail including:

  • the various kinds of mining
  • types of land tenure
  • mineral ownership and regulation
  • the structure and financing of mining projects
  • the importance of National Instrument 43-101 
  • the effects of mining site conflicts
  • impact benefit agreements and community development agreements
  • the disconnects of the worldviews of corporations and Indigenous peoples
  • the importance of sustainability and impact assessments
  • human rights due diligence
  • the effects of climate change on water management.

Week 4 – Developing and Operating a Mine 

In week 4, examine the increasingly complex rules and laws that govern mining development and operations, in particular those that promote diversity, transparency and accountability. Using case studies and case law from Canada and abroad, understand:

  • initiatives including Publish What You Pay, EITI, SEC Resource Extraction Payments Rule, conflict minerals legislation, supply chain legislation and disclosure requirements
  • the growing efforts for local content requirements
  • transnational litigation to redress wrongs to Indigenous peoples
  • the evolution of corporate social responsibility in Canada
  • anti-corruption compliance programs
  • the governance of tailing dams
  • the rising use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Week 5 — Closing a Mine and Course Summary

In week 5, examine the key issues of mine closures including financial assurances, mine abandonment and the public's residual liability. In this module, consider:

  • the Federal Government's new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program
  • the Environmental Protection Act Superfund Abandoned Mine Lands Program in the US
  • how Indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge is incorporated in mine closure plans.

The last lesson of this program summarizes key learnings and provides a holistic overview of the interconnection of the issues, how the ESG movement is being incorporated in mining, and what a post-COVID green revolution means for mining. 

Meet Your Instructor

DANIELA CHIMISSO DOS SANTOS, BA, LLB, LLM, SJD, is an expert on mining and sustainability. She has practised law in the oil, gas and mining industries for close to 20 years, and has extensive national and international experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Asia. 

Daniela is the principal consultant at Invenient Consulting Solutions, and was recently a senior governance advisor at the sustainability consulting firm Proactiva. She has also held roles at McCarthy Tétrault, Shell, Hatch, and Vale where she led a team of more than 45 lawyers in 11 jurisdictions.

In addition to serving as a board member of Transparency International Canada, Daniela is a member of the ICC Canada Task Force on Addressing Issues of Corruption in International Arbitration. She’s also a member of the Environmental Appeal Board, Forest Appeals Commission and the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal in British Columbia. The United Nations Development Programme has recognized her as an extractives expert. 

Daniela has published in the areas of mining and sustainability, business and human rights, mining finance, and sovereign debt and human rights. She has lectured and spoken at universities, events and associations across North America, and has presented her work at Harvard Law School, University of Cambridge Law School, Center for International Governance Innovation and Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. 

Course Format

Program Format and Delivery
The part-time program is 100% online and instructor supported. Progress through five online modules over five weeks on your own time, participate in online discussions facilitated by your instructor, and complete coursework.

Each module includes:

  • online video lessons recorded by the instructor
  • required and suggested readings
  • exclusive recorded interviews with experts
  • case studies
  • an auto-graded quiz

Program Hours and Expectations
Expect to spend approximately five hours per week to complete all learning activities and coursework, as well as five hours for the case studies or research paper, for a total of 30 hours. Case studies are due after modules two and five. The research paper is due after module five.

Program Dates
The program runs September 27 - October 29, 2021. 

Available Sessions

Course currently not available for registration.