Dates: Apr 2013 - Mar 2016

Region: Asia

Theme: Community Engagement,Management Systems and Standards

This research seeks to better understand the effectiveness of ‘community development agreements’ (CDAs) in developing country settings as a key mechanism for: (a) obtaining broad-based consent from impacted communities; and (b) managing community impacts and benefits through structuring mutually beneficial relationships between resource companies and host communities. The main focus of the research is Rio Tinto`s ongoing agreement making with host communities and local government authorities around the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the South Gobi Province (Umnugovi Aimag) of Mongolia. 

The SGCA is one of the emerging instances globally where a resource company is required by government to enter into an agreement with host communities. Notwithstanding, Rio Tinto has a record of voluntarily entering agreements as a means of securing project development consent and certainty, and can be expected to go beyond statutory expectations. 

There is currently no legal framework in Mongolia to structure the negotiation process and no established negotiation culture in the society. As such, the process presents particular challenges for both the company and the impact communities.There are likely to be important lessons from the SGCA process which could help inform practice in other parts of Mongolia as well as other resource-rich developing countries. 

More information on the agreement can be found here:

This project is part of CSRM's Mongolia Research Hub

Project Aims

  • To identify critical context and conditions influencing the process, outcomes, and impact of agreement making.
  • To document the opportunities and challenges of agreement-making for host communities and their representatives, as well as for resource companies, and to examine the extent to which companies secure broad-based consent via CDAs.
  • To contribute to new thinking about innovative governance strategies for engaging with communities and securing broad-based consent, and to the broader literature on agreement making and the literature on the development impacts of large-scale mining projects.

Project Partners

  • Rio Tinto
  • Oyu Tolgoi LLC
Tracking the Negotiation and Implementation of the South Gobi Cooperation Agreement (SGCA)
Apr 2013
Mar 2016

Tracking the Negotiation and Implementation of the South Gobi Cooperation Agreement (SGCA)