The long road between the pastors` initial complaint and the implementation of the CDA reflects the innovative formulation of O`Faircheallaigh (2013). Many of the points raised remain of great strength, including Community membership, adaptability to local conditions, training and participatory decision-making (where possible) while helping to mitigate the negative effects of a mine. Loutit et al.`s (2016) Identifying CDAs as an important mechanism to ensure the usefulness of the Community through formalised agreements is in line with the TPC experience in Mongolia. What academic analyses and international reports cover well are the main points and challenges of pursuing ADCs. We are most aware of the problems and pitfalls when theoretical feasibility and possibility encounter difficult realities, relationships and economics. Sub-themes included rights and relocation packages, as well as communal allowances, including employment, education and district development. The social impact has focused on livelihoods, economic damage, alternative sources of income and recognition of land rights. Environmental impact was a visual and tangible concern regarding groundwater abstraction, pasture degradation, the effects of dust on human and animal health, and the fragmentation of the country due to mining-related infrastructure (roads, quarries and airports). Another, more nebulous, sensitive topic was the ability to continue the traditional livelihoods and customs of mobile herders in the face of decades of mining interruptions. The path to the CDA began in 2012.

This resulted in an IFC audit that required the mine`s participation in the investigation, although there was no legal obligation to resolve the complaint. Community development agreements (CDAs) are an advanced approach to addressing endemic challenges in local communities facing reduced resources. A CDA focuses on community-centred action and offers the potential to inform, engage and resolve disputes at the local level. Here we present a case study that sheds light on the process that leads to a successful CDA between shepherds and a mega-mine. The lawsuit illustrates the promise made by O`Faircheallaigh (2013, p. 96) identified in this review that CDAs can “minimize negative effects and ensure that local communities reap the benefits of development” from mining.

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