The AEC and especially its Responsible Resource Development Working Group is highlighted in a recently published paper by Bruce Harland, co-chair of the Working Group. The paper is a part of the PCRC Working Paper series published by the Polar Cooperation Research Centre of Kobe University in Japan.
In the paper, Mr. Harland described the process leading to the publication of the Responsible Resource Development Working Group’s report “Mineral Development in the Arctic”. The group’s choice to focus on mining was based on the assessment of Arctic as a resource rich but underdeveloped region. Simultaneously, there is an increased interest in the region’s mineral resources. The group’s goal was to create a handbook for those interested in mining in the Arctic but not yet familiar with the region. Equally important was to provide recommendations to decision-makers from an industry perspective.
Mr. Harland highlights the key findings and recommendations of the group’s work in the article. Firstly, developers need to have a comprehensive plan which is consistent with the aspirations of the people of the region. Addressing workforce and capacity-building efforts calls for collaboration between the developer and national and regional governments as well as the local and indigenous communities. Due to the lack of infrastructure, resource development of the Arctic requires an intentional joint approach between governments, project developers and local communities in developing shared infrastructure. Fairness, timeliness and predictability in regulations is a key for businesses. Access to objective data could greatly aid project permitting.
As a one of the first of its kind, the report “Mineral Development in the Arctic” offers a balanced view for the development of the mining industry in the region. This is the first time industry and indigenous corporations make a joint effort in highlighting the pillars of successful mining operations in the Arctic.
Mr. Harland’s article titled “Arctic Economic Council: A Resource for Business Development in the Arctic” is based on his presentation at the 4th Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) International Symposium held in Kobe, Japan in December 2018. The paper can be downloaded at the Kobe University PCRC’s website and is a part of the PCRC Working Paper Series.