Unifying Outer Space: Creating a Cohesive Structure Surrounding Mining on the Moon

By Alex S. Li. 

In light of the renewed global interest in Earth’s sole natural satellite, this Article ventures into the intricate legal dynamics shaping the development of a lunar mining industry.

It starts by illuminating how various models of Outer Space governance can influence three critical aspects of lunar mining: (i) resource ownership rights, (ii) adherence to a non-interference policy, and (iii) commitment to environmental protection. The analysis encompasses a range of legal structures, including (a) the U.N. Outer Space treaties; (b) Alliance-based frameworks such as the Artemis Accords led by the United States, the International Lunar Research Station driven by China, the Principles proposed by the Moon Village Association, and the Building Blocks Framework spearheaded by the Hague International Working Group; as well as (c) national legislations related to space resources coming from the United States, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. Full Article.