Introduction -

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters and a slightly belated Happy New Year to you all. No doubt as you read this the holiday season seems a long time ago, but hopefully you had the oppor tunity to take some time away from work and enjoy a break with friends and family.

The previous twelve months were certainly a refreshing change as the UK Economy finally looks to have turned a corner and, an until now, slow and halting recovery appears to have gathered some genuine momentum. Talk is now much more positive and there is a real sense of optimism.

Fears about a triple dip recession have been replaced by debate about whether there was actually a double dip and, whilst it is far from out of the woods, the Eurozone has been relatively quiet. Consumer demand has risen and this improvement, par ticularly evident in the housing and commercial property markets, has done much for the mines and minerals sector. Long may it continue!

Whilst we are sure that there will be bumps in the road ahead, hopefully the improvements seen in 2013 are just the star ting point and by the end of this year we will be able to say with confidence that any lingering doubts about the strength of the recovery have gone away.

This edition of Minerals Matters contains articles relating to human rights in the mining industry, data protection issues in the mining sector, the ability to remove squatters and the crack-down on bribery and corruption in the sector. We also look at mandatory carbon reporting requirements, employment tax issues and the Europa Oil and Gas case. As ever we hope you find this edition both interesting and informative but we are always happy to receive any comments that you have as well as requests for future articles.

Please see full publication below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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