accountable MINING

The macra tool

The Mining Awards corruption risk assessment tool (MACRA Tool)

To understand and identify the corruption risks in the process of approving mining permits, we developed a custom tool to identify the flaws in the system. 

The Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment Tool (MACRA Tool) helps its users 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.

The tool’s focus on ‘mining awards’ spans from the award of rights for exploration, extraction and mine expansion, to community consultation and consent requirements, and environmental licences and related permits.

The tool has been used in over 23 countries. It contains 83 common corruption risks and has been endorsed by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and cited by different organisations such as the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The MACRA Tool has proved to be a highly effective framework to identify and assess the risk factors that create vulnerabilities to corruption at this critical stage.

“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, CEO of ICMM (2015-2021)
The third edition includes guidance on incorporating gender to make the corruption risk assessment gender sensitive.

This includes instructions in each step on how to collect and use gender-related data as well as a dedicated annex with supplementary guidance. We have also added three new gendered corruption risks to the list of common corruption risks.

You can use the full MACRA Tool or the abridged version.

The MACRA Tool takes approximately 12 months to complete. For users with the time and resources to conduct more in-depth research and to consult with a greater number of stakeholders, the original tool is recommended. Alternatively, an abridged version that can be done in four months is also available.

gender, mining

The importance of gender

Gender inequality affects women’s participation in the awards process. And women have an important role to play in preventing corruption.

When women’s participation is restricted, corruption may be more likely to happen or go undetected. And when it does occur, corruption can have a disproportionate impact on women.

For this reason, strategies to tackle corruption will only be truly effective if they address the barriers created by gender inequality that hinder women’s participation in decision-making and accountability efforts.

This third edition of the tool guides users to collect information that will help identify, understand and address these barriers as well as to identify and mitigate the specific gendered impacts of corruption on women.

Licence maps

Mining rights are often governed by multiple pieces of legislation, running hundreds of pages long.

Using the methodology of the MACRA Tool, we have developed a series of ‘maps to shine a light on how the complex process of awarding mining permits works. They demonstrate in a simplified way the stepbystep process for awarding a mining or exploration licence. 

These maps are designed as tools to help people understand the process – whether they be in the mining industry, government, civil society, or a member of the community living near a proposed mine. 

Explore licence maps from various countries through our licence maps portal. At this time, the licence maps are only available in English.

mining license map



The MACRA Tool

The MACRA Tool fills helps users identify and assess the underlying causes of corruption in mining sector awards. The third edition will soon be available in French, Spanish and Mandarin, as well as English.

MACRA factsheet

MACRA Tool factsheet

This factsheet provides a brief overview of the Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) Tool, which helps users identify and assess the underlying causes of corruption in mining sector awards.


This paper highlights key lessons for combatting corruption in the mining sector through effective implementation of the licence allocation disclosure requirements in the EITI Standard. Available in English, French and Spanish.