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ARELJ - Recent Development - Principles for Exploration and Extraction Rights

John Southalan
Barrister (WA Bar Association), Adjunct Professor (UWA & Murdoch)

In February 2020 the OECD endorsed a framework, aimed at governments and investors, for the content and negotiation of extractives exploration and production contracts. The principles are expressed as relevant to all systems of granting petroleum and mineral exploration and production rights – whether by contractual regimes or legal systems of non-negotiable provisions. The purposes of the principles include promoting long-term sustainable development, while attracting and sustaining investment; providing mechanisms for changes in circumstances; and ensuring “a fair share for all parties to the contract and optimise the value from resource development through equitable, sustainable and mutually beneficial contracts and operations”. These principles should inform advice and analysis by Australian resources practitioners: of matters in Australia and regarding the involvement of Australian entities in other countries.

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