Mining Law Summit

Seventh Annual Mining Law Summit 
November 10, 2022
University of Arizona Law

Addressing Challenges to Mineral Resource Development

Sponsored and hosted by The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Global Mining Law Program and the School of Mining and Mineral Resources.


The 2022 Mining Law Summit continues to examine the challenges to mineral resource development. This year we will look at:

  • the use of technology for NEPA compliance
  • new sourcing requirements
  • innovations in education
  • challenges in Indigenous rights advocacy
  • the evaluation of community resistance.

This free virtual conference, on Nov. 10, 2022, will combine recorded presentations from internationally recognized authorities with live participation in answering questions and providing commentary.

9–9:10 a.m.                Welcome & Introductions

Marc Miller, Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
John Lacy, Director, Global Mining Law Program, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law


9:10–10:10 a.m.        Challenges in Domestic Environmental Compliance

Laura López-Hoffman is heading up the NEPAcess program at the University of Arizona, a team that has developed a new platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to search and analyze thousands of documents stemming from the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The topic will be presented as a round table discussion between Emily McGovern, Aaron Lien (School of Natural Resources), Dean Marc Miller (College of Law), and Jim Tress (CEO, WestLand Resources).


10:10– 11:40 a.m.    Challenges and Opportunities in Responsible Sourcing

This topic will be presented by a panel to discuss the need to prevent “greenwashing” in voluntary standards for the mining sector, the role of such standards in human rights due diligence legislation, and the strengths and limitations of voluntary standards. The panel will provide an overview of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and its approach to maintaining the integrity of its Standard for Responsible Mining, including multi-stakeholder engagement, robust coverage and requirements, independent third-party audits, transparent reporting, and continuous improvement at the mine site level. Panelists will also discuss approaches to incorporating circularity in the mining sector, include through strategies such as procurement practices, material recycling, and use of nature-based solutions. Panelists include Aimee Boulanger, IRMA; Kristi Disney Bruckner, IRMA; Aaron Mintzes, Earthworks; Malcolm Shang, ArcelorMittal; Alan Young, Materials Efficiency Resource Group (MERG), and Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch.


11:40 a.m.–12:30 p.m.  Challenges in Education—“The New Shape of Mining Education”

The new School of Mining and Mineral Resources at The University of Arizona takes an inter-disciplinary approach to mining education. The scope and aspirations of the new school will be presented Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Carmala Garzione.


12:30–1 p.m.              LUNCH BREAK


1–2:15 p.m.                Challenges in Indigenous Rights Advocacy

Dr. Elifuraha Laltaika, a Senior Law Lecturer and the Director of Research and Consultancy at Tumaini University Makumira (Arusha, Tanzania), will be interviewed by Professor James Hopkins, the Director and Associate Clinical Professor of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program of the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, and Cassie Boggs, retired general counsel of Resource Capital Funds. Dr. Laltaika served as an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during 2017–19 and his long-term research project is entitled “Spotlighting Social Inclusion: Protection of Africa’s Hunter-Gatherers’ Communal Land Rights in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals Implementation.” The interview will focus on striking the balance between increased mining, particularly for critical minerals, to ensure national economic security and protecting land and Indigenous rights.

2:15–3:15 p.m.          Evaluating Community Relations

Chris Hopkins, a nationally known authority on this topic, will provide his insights on appropriate groundwork required to either get a project either off the ground or abandoned early in the process. The presentation will focus on what steps can be taken to establish meaningful dialogue and engagement with communities, to promote participation and benefit sharing, to establish, manage, and evaluate plans, and to address grievances through a local level grievance mechanism.


3:15–4 p.m.                Wrap Up Analysis, Law and Policy 

Prof. Ana Bastida, the senior lecturer in Law, Energy Environment and Society, School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, and the Program Leader of the MSc in Sustainability, at the University of Dundee, Scotland, will provide a live wrap up analysis of the materials presented. Dr. Bastida has concluded in her recent book, that the law and governance of mining and minerals has “historically been a chronically under-theorized and under-systematized area of enquiry in international scholarship.”


4–4:30 p.m.               

After Dr. Bastida’s presentation she will be joined by other presenters who are available and will answer any questions submitted that have not been addressed.


Download Mining Law Summit 2022 Agenda

For future Summits, please send your suggestions to John Lacy at

These and past presentations are available on YouTube (@UArizonaLaw).


Registration is free and open through Nov. 9.


Using Zoom, the 2022 Summit format includes:

  • substantive presentations previously recorded;
  • discussion by the organizing committee following each presentation with the presenter(s) who can be available live to respond;
  • registrant-submitted questions via the Zoom chat feature; and
  • a live wrap-up discussion between the registrants, the organizing committee and the available speakers, including any chat questions that have not been addressed.
Thank you to our sponsor The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law