Since there have been structures of public government, economic interest in minerals and technical ability to extract them, there has been mineral legislation and methods of giving permission to miners - by the owners of the land or the owner of subsurface mineral rights - to extract them. Issues which we now consider important, for example, access to land, payment to the owner/sovereign for extraction of minerals, supervision of mining activities and safety, both for miners and third parties, ancillary economic contribution of mining to local communities - have been around for a very long time. These issues are still relevant and their regulation - in legislation, subsidiary regulations, in mineral agreements and licensing conditions -evolves and responds to advances in technology, to new economic concepts and financing methods, to new political attitudes and constraints.

When viewing current licensing methods negotiatiated petroleum and mineral development agreements - one can therefore both come to the conclusion that nothing is veritably new and that current agreements contain significant innovation.

The present paper does therefore not pretend to claim that there is a revolution with dramatic innovation in current licensing, but rather surveys the -sometimes substantive, sometimes rather more formal - changes in current licensing and negotiating practice.

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