A January 10, 2014 story in the UK Daily Telegraph reported that a British planetary scientist named Ian Crawford has called for a United Nations treaty that would allow for and govern the activities of private companies on the moon, particularly those which are keen to start mining operations.
Crawford does suggest that lunar mining is a few decades off and that lunar tourism will likely happen first. In the meantime there will be plenty of work involved in exploring the moon, ferreting out its secrets, and thus paving the way for mining operations and other commercial enterprises that will follow.
A contrary view was also published in the Telegraph by Gerard de Groot, expressing skepticism that the moon will ever be commercially viable. De Groot is the author of a book “Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest” that attacks the very basis of the Apollo program to land men on the moon in a style that many readers, if the reviews on Amazon are to believed, found off putting and overly sarcastic.