Based on a PhD thesis, with a focus on Sierra Leone, this book explores the conflicts between pursuing mining activities to foster economic development and protecting the environment in which such activities take place. This study presents sustainable development as valuable recipe, by which mining ventures could be pursued as an economic imperative (to meet the needs of present and future generations), while protecting the environment and its components in the pursuit of such developments. The study shows that despite the definitional questions, sustainable development has direct and primary relevance for environmental protection in the economic exploitation of natural resources. It identifies a legal character in the concept beyond legislative processes, and a flexibility in its principles that allows for their interpretation within legal rules to enhance environmental protection at the national level. It also illustrates the link between effective implementation and ensuring sustainable mining.