OPM is working with DFID on a five-year project to strengthen governance in Nigeria's oil and gas sector, pioneering the use of the Natural Resource Charter as a benchmarking tool
OPM delivers leading research on topics such as mineral export dependence of low-income countries and the policy decisions involved in designing a mineral taxation regime
OPM has applied its toolkit for assessing the socio-economic impacts of large-scale mining activities, initially developed for the ICMM, in over 10 countries to date
We are advising Norad’s Oil for Development Programme on vulnerabilities to corruption in the oil and gas sector
OPM’s survey of community perceptions of large-scale gold mines in northern Tanzania reveals the complex factors driving local impacts of mining
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OPM focuses on applying high quality, objective, multidisciplinary analysis to natural resource issues, as well as fostering the development of stakeholder partnerships.

The discovery of vast untapped mineral resources in a developing country used to be a cause for celebration, promising inward investment, job creation and a significant boost to the local economy and government revenues. But too often realising the full benefits from extractive industries was much harder than anticipated, with countries often experiencing economic turmoil as a result of the mining or petroleum sectors.

Mining is by its very nature a limited-term operation. Once resources are exhausted, the mine closes – and all too often leaves massive gap in the local economy. So how can localities and regions harness the opportunities the mining project creates to support sustainable economic development?
How can government ensure that the profits generated by overseas mining companies translate into revenue for the state? How should nations best distribute that revenue to support economic and social development? And crucially, how can they manage the time lag between the arrival of multinationals in the country, and the boom in taxation income – typically some years down the line?
The low impact of extractive industries on social development is not the result of a lack of investment. Instead, the problem is how mining companies have traditionally invested in development – pouring sums of money into construction projects which are not integrated with wider social change.
OPM’s research for ICMM highlighted the fact that all too often mining companies’ efforts to support development have not been integrated into wider regional planning. One of the recommendations of the research was therefore to create development partnerships between mining companies and multilateral-bilateral development agencies – as well as government bodies – to align investment and approaches.
Economic impact assessments and political economy analysis provide a vital insight into whether a development should go ahead and how it should be structured. In OPM’s experience, such insight is a vital ally in tackling the so-called ‘resource curse’ which has historically dogged resource extraction projects.