Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment Tool

A lack of transparency and accountability in the awarding of mining sector licences, permits and contracts – the first stage in the mining value chain 
– is a root cause of corruption in the mining sector. Yet many initiatives to improve governance and prevent corruption in oil, gas and mining industries do not focus fully or exclusively on the mining sector, or this stage of the value chain.

The MACRA Tool fills this gap by helping users to identify and assess the underlying causes of corruption in mining sector awards – the risks that create opportunities for corruption, and undermine the lawful, compliant and ethical awarding of mining sector licences, permits and contracts.

Developed for Transparency International’s Mining for Sustainable Development Programme (M4SD), the Tool has been used across 20 mining jurisdictions, and identifies more than 80 common corruption risks. It has proved to be a highly effective framework to identify and assess the risk factors that create vulnerabilities to corruption at this critical stage.

An updated version of the Tool has been developed based on user feedback, and this significant resource is now publicly available here.

"The importance to the global mining industry of a transparent, objective and well-regulated licensing process cannot be overstated. By providing stakeholders with the means to identify weaknesses in the system and build the evidence base to push for reform, I believe this excellent tool will be extremely useful to anyone wishing to improve the licensing process in their jurisdiction”

Tom Butler
Tom Butler CEO, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

“Transparency International’s Mining for Sustainable Development Programme (M4SD) has developed a unique tool to assess the implementation risks and political vulnerabilities involved in a key step of the mining value chain”

Perrine Toledano
Perrine Toledano Head, Extractive Industries Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

“The MACRA tool is very flexible and still adequately prescriptive to aid a researcher in investigating corruption risks in how mining award processes in just about any context”

Norman Mukwakwami
Norman Mukwakwami Public Policy Analyst (Consultant), World Bank

How the MACRA Tool works

This Tool guides users to pinpoint where the mining awards process is vulnerable to corruption, and to assess and then prioritise the resulting corruption risks – enabling the development of a robust corruption mitigation strategy.

Vulnerabilities are systemic, regulatory, institutional or other weaknesses specific to individual contexts that create opportunities for corruption to occur or pass undetected. They may arise from the design of the awards process (the law), the awards practice (implementation) or from surrounding contextual factors.

Who the MACRA Tool is for

The Tool can be used by any organisation seeking to identify, assess and mitigate corruption risks in the mining awards process of any jurisdiction, country or context.

How the MACRA Tool helps users understand corruption risk

The mining sector has some similar features in every country, however, because context has such a significant influence on the awards process, it is important that risk assessments are developed or adapted to suit specific settings.

The MACRA Tool helps users to do that by combining a rigorous research method with a flexible approach. It guides you step-by-step to:


  • Led by Transparency International Australia, acting as a global Centre of Expertise;
  • Put into practice by Transparency International national chapters and local stakeholders;
  • Supported by the Transparency International Secretariat.

Funded in Phase I by BHP Billiton Foundation and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).