Privately commissioned public inquiries in extractive industries are an enormously rich source of data for scholars of global environmental politics. This untapped arena comprises a series of unconventional inquiries in response to contentious socioenvironmental events and incidents, whereby large resource companies commission studies, relinquish control over the process, and publicly release findings. These inquiries are an episodic but persistent feature of the resource governance landscape in the global mining industry—one of the world’s most contentious, environmentally disruptive, and influential sectors. We argue that there is a certain independence or autonomy associated with these inquiries, justifying their analytical separation from internal corporate governance. Above all, these inquiries provide opportunities for scholars of global environmental politics to consolidate their activist roots and connect local realities to global debates. We offer a set of preliminary of research questions and describe points of access for future research.

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