Shared Use of Mining-Related Infrastructure (Rail, Port, Power, Water, and ICT)

Mining companies have traditionally followed an enclave model to infrastructure development, building long-term infrastructure projects—including rail, port, power, water, and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure—that serve their operations exclusively. Through shared-use arrangements, mining-related infrastructure can benefit other mining companies, businesses in other economic sectors, and local communities, contributing to sustainable development and helping bridge the infrastructure funding gap in resource-rich developing countries. 

Based on extensive research on shared-use mining infrastructure, CCSI provides technical assistance for governments, mining companies, and communities to implement mutually beneficial shared-use arrangements.

With a grant from the Australian Government, CCSI developed an economically, legally, and operationally rational framework to enable shared use of mining-related infrastructure, including rail, port, power, water, and internet and telecommunications infrastructure. CCSI distilled best-practice principles from infrastructure developments around the world, guided by expert opinion, and refined them through in‐depth case studies in Liberia, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone. The CCSI Framework to Approach Shared Use of Mining-Related Infrastructure, published in March 2014, contains principles relevant to all resource-rich African countries. In developing the framework, CCSI hosted an expert consultation workshop. Read the summary of the discussions, and view the workshop presentations: introduction, power, internet and telecommunications, rail and ports, and water.


In 2022, CCSI published a policy paper shedding light on the legal, regulatory, and contractual provisions that underpin the shared use of mining-related infrastructure and providing guidance on how governments might strengthen provisions to advance shared use of railroads, ports, and power. The policy paper follows a series of four others published in 2012 presenting case studies on shared use of mining-related infrastructure: 1) mineral railways and ports, 2) power infrastructure, 3) water infrastructure, and 4) internet and telecommunications.


The Carajás railway corridor connects the world’s largest iron ore mine, operated by mining company Vale in Brazil’s Amazon region, to the company’s maritime terminal. Carajás is one of the few integrated railway corridors financed by a mining company that, apart from transporting the iron ore that made the investment viable, also transports general cargo and operates passenger services. Third parties also benefit from Vale’s investments in port, airport, and ICT infrastructure. This study provides insights into the logistics and institutional setup of the Carajás corridor and lessons learned for other countries seeking to implement shared use. It also provides insights into benefits and costs related to the corridor, and opportunities to increase the development benefits resulting from its shared use. Read the full report (in high resolution or low resolution) and the executive summary.

The book chapter “Carajás Corridor in Brazil: Could an SEA Have Reconciled Shared-Use Infrastructure and Environmental Protection?”, featured in the 2023 edited volume "Impact Assessment for Corridors: From Infrastructure to Development Corridors," explores the complicated relationship between economic development and environmental risk and considers whether a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) could have led to better environmental outcomes in the areas adjacent to the corridor.

In 2014, CCSI received a World Bank grant to determine to what extent cross-border resource-based transport and energy corridors can be a catalyst for regional integration. The report explores in depth whether four African corridors have led or can lead to regional integration: the Nacala railway corridor (Mozambique–Malawi), the Northern Corridor (Great Lakes Countries – Kenya), the Simandou–Nimba railway corridor (Guinea–Liberia) and the Lapsset pipeline and railway corridor (Uganda–South Sudan–Ethiopia–Kenya). Lessons learned from international experiences are also highlighted, including from the Arctic rail corridor (Sweden–Norway), Antofogasta rail and port corridor (Chile–Bolivia), the GSBOL gas pipeline (Brazil–Bolivia), the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline (Azerbaijan–Georgia–Turkey), the Maputo rail and road corridor (South Africa–Mozambique) and the China–Kazakhstan interconnection at the Korgas Pass. Read the February 2016 World Bank report and this CCSI article on the importance of cross-border corridors for the participation of resource-rich countries in global value chains.


CCSI and the World Bank collaborated in 2012–2013 to systematically assess the potential and challenges of power–mining integration in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To that end, CCSI built the Africa Power–Mining Database 2013, containing 455 projects in 28 SSA countries with a minimum of USD 250 million gross value of ores reserves, in all project phases, spanning the years 2000–2020. The database estimates the demand for power in 2000, 2012 and 2020, and identifies the range of past, present, and future power-sourcing arrangements for the 455 projects. The study also assesses different institutional settings and policy instruments with potential to lead to better integration between mines’ investment plans in power infrastructure and governments’ plans for national power development. Read here the final publication by the World Bank and the database, both launched at Mining Indaba 2015 (see press release). See also CCSI’s study on renewables and mining, discussing similar issues in the context of renewable energy.


CCSI and McMillan Keck received a World Bank grant to develop a global online toolkit on infrastructure sharing to expand access to telecommunication services. Through a wide range of case studies, the toolkit informs how stakeholders can promote better coordination among different ministries, utilities and telecom networks, development agencies, and private sector firms; serves as an intellectual and operational focal point; and informs government policy and public sector practices, as well as support technical assistance, advisory services and infrastructure financing by donors. The 2017 toolkit is available here


Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will only be achieved if the population has access to basic services, such as access to water, power, transport, and telecommunications. However, in many developing countries there is a lack of infrastructure to guarantee these services and there are insufficient public funds to finance growing needs. In resource-rich countries, the mining sector can play a key role in increasing access to infrastructure. Mining-related infrastructure is often developed to serve the exclusive need of the investors. However, if it is shared and developed to serve broader needs and uses of the host economy, it could fill some of the infrastructure funding gap. In Chapter 13 of the monograph Mining and Sustainable Development: Current Issues, Perrine Toledano and Nicolas Maennling outline how implementing shared use of mining-related infrastructure may contribute to achieving the SDGs.