Mineral policy is now generally regarded as a function reserved to government. Government is reponsible for the economic health and progress of nations, and must therefore interest itself in minerals as a basic national resource. Government should therefore identify objectives which it sees as suitable and necessary for the mineral industry so that the industry can play its part in achieving national goals. It should provide the legislative framework and policy guidelines to enable these objectives to be achieved. The essential objective of a national mineral policy should be rational development of the nation’s minerals resources. To achieve this, it need not be too formal; broad guidelines are enough. But it must be dynamic, to keep pace with the changing circumstances of the mineral industry in the world scene and the changing requirements of government. It should be flexible, recognising that there is no such thing as a “typical” mineral deposit; above all it should represent the outcome of a continuing dialogue between government and industry. Both government policy and corporate planning need to be formulated on the practical understanding of the potential economic value of the mineral sector and what it can contribute to the nation’s prosperity. There needs to be a common understanding of the wide range of the costs of risks that may arise through the exploration and development stages and of the uncertainties affecting ventures at the production stage. There needs to be a common understanding that the size and importance of the mineral sector is determined in the long run by the level of investment in exploration. The development of a continuing understanding between government and industry should lead to the formulation of ground rules which ensure the continuance of a strong industry able to adapt to the changing world scene and make its contribution to national growth and wellbeing.