Just returned from a week out in an island off Chesapeake bay with a dozen or so people from different parts of world, where we produced a book on how to understand mining contracts. The book is intended for negotiators, civil society activists, parliamentarians etc. We used a known Civil Society activist Abu, as our target reader. Whenever there was an impasse among lawyers or between academics and practitioners, we asked the question, would Abu get this message? It was a fascinating experience. Being in the same room and on the same side as the academic – who normally preaches perfection; the lawyer from the company side-who normally is very well-informed and equipped; the politician- who normally wants the agreement to be signed yesterday so s/he can announce another “win”, and so on.
The book is free and here’s the link – http://www.resourcecontracts.org/blog/guides-to-contracts-terminology.html
My takeaway from the exercise: African countries are getting better deals from mining these days, but a lot more has to be done.