Mining Law in Australia

Mining law in the Northern Territory is unique. To take into account the variation in land ownership, the NT Government has through the Mineral titles Act developed a legal process to ratinalise a wide range of mining tenements by converting these titles so that they can be more actively explored. The Northern Territory Government recognises that the private sector is the most able developer of mineral resources, and hence through the Mineral Titles Act allows the private sector and open access to develop mineral resources.

The Government does not require equity participation, or any other form of direct involvement in mineral development projects. The Act allows exploration through a mining administration system which is open and unbiased. The guiding principle is that exploration and mining rights are given to any candidate, who by merit, can show that they have the capability to carry out an agreed upon work programme. In the case of multiple applicants rights are allocated to the first qualified applicant.

This system supports and protects the rights of all investors, both local and foreign, to prospect, explore and mine their mineral discoveries. Investors rights to mineral tenements, and their security of title are enshrined in the Mineral Resources Act. Exporation Licence holders who exercise due diligence in carrying out, and comply with the proposed activities detailed in their Licence, including maintaining a vigorous exploration programme, and accurate, timely comprehensive reporting in accordance with the Act, are guaranteed continuity of title, implying a right to proceed to project development.

Over time, Licence holders are expected to relinquish a portion of their prospecting area. Through the Act the Northern Territory Government is very keen to encourage legitimate prospectors and mineral explorers, it does not want to see prospective land tied up by companies that are only interested in speculative ventures. The Act will actively discourage any company attempting to engage in such speculative ventures. Exploration Licence holders have a right to progress from prospecting to mining if they have complied with the licence conditions and they have proven that a minable resource exists.

Exploration licences will be renewed for ongoing periods to provide an incentive to explorers who require more time to develop the site before progressing to the retention or mining conditions of the Act. Another area of considerable interest to attract the private sector to the resource industry in the Northern Territory is the provison for offshore exploration licences. These licences will allow applicants to explore Northern Territory waters up to the 3Nm thus allowing prospecters a greater scope to search for valuable resources.

In conclusion the Northern Territory Government has through the introduction of flexible legislation developed a system of mining regulation which will promote the best outcome for investors,miners,explorers and property owners as well as the general community to maximise the benefits of mineral extraction. Special Policies and Procedures 3. 6 The Director of Mines (henceforth referred to as the Director) at the Mineral Resources Department, grants Prospector’s Rights under the Mining Act.

With the consent of the Minister, the Director also grants Prospecting Licences, Special Prospecting Licences, Permits to Mine, Mining Leases, Special Mining Leases, Special Site Rights, and Road Access Licences. Applications for any Right, Licence or Lease are considered on their own merit. The criteria for assessing merit are: the expertise and capacity/capability of the applicant to undertake the geological programme, any past record that the prospecting company has in mineral exploration, and the financial standing of the company in terms of its financial ability to undertake the proposed work programme. . 7 A Prospectors Right allows the holder to prospect for all minerals on any land open to prospecting in Fiji for a one year period. Prospector’s can reapply for Prospector’s Rights annually. Prospecting Licences and Special Prospecting Licences allow the holder to prospect for those minerals specified in the Licence, and are issued for 1 to 5 years. The terms and conditions of (Special) Prospecting Licences can be varied subsequent to an agreement between the licence holder and the Director of Mines.

In arriving at this agreement, the Director considers certain criteria including: the appropriateness of the geological program outlined in the application; the minimum expenditure proposed in the application. 3. 8 Joint venturers are discouraged from offering front-payments in their joint venture dealings. It is expected that all planned exploration funds will be spent solely on exploration. 3. 9 Extensions to Prospecting Licences are normally available, providing all stated licence conditions have been met.

Extensions of Prospecting Licences are normally made on a one year basis, although longer periods may be given. Extensions are subject to the same conditions as apply to initial applications, however, in the case of an extension, it is expected that minimum exploration expenditure will significantly increase with each successive extension. 3. 10 In “mature areas”, where extensive prior work has been undertaken, or where a well known geological target is the subject of interest, applicants may apply for an initial Prospecting Licence of 2 – 3 years.

Further extensions to this Licence may be sought, although this is conditional on the Licence holder undertaking a Pre-feasibility or Feasibility Study with a specified minimum expenditure annually. In considering the grant of exploration rights over a “mature area” the Minister gives due regard to two factors: the Licence holders capacity/capability to undertake the proposed pre-feasibility/feasibility program, and, the likelihood that the grant will lead to a development decision on the prospect. 3. 11 All Prospecting Licences, Permits to Mine, and Mining Leases are subject to established reporting requirements.

Once prospecting or mining rights have been abandoned or relinquished, the data from the relinquished area (with the exception of data pertaining to closed or protected areas) becomes the property of Government and is then publicly available through MRD at a nominal charge) Information and data regarding areas currently under licence are confidential to the MRD. 3. 12 The orderly housing and maintenance of all drill-cores is the responsibility of the Licence holder until termination or relinquishment of licence.

At that time, the Licence holder is responsible for the safeguarding, delivery to Government, or disposal of the drill-cores in an acceptable manner, and under mutually acceptable terms. 3. 13 Progression from prospecting to mining follows the issuance of a (Special) Mining Lease as prescribed under the Mining Act, and in conformance with the various special terms and conditions agreed upon between the Director of Mines and the Licence holder. The issuance of the Lease is subject to two conditions. First, the submission of a comprehensive Feasibility Study which demonstrates the commercial and technical viability of the project.

The Feasibility Study will be accompanied by a detailed financing plan for the development and by all information/assessments as required by the environmental impact assessment process. Second, the completion of a Development Agreement outlining the broad principles, responsibilities, and obligations of all parties to the development. This Agreement would normally be prepared through consultation between the Licence holder, the Fiji Government, and representatives of the people of the development region.

In general, new mining projects are handled as Executive Agreements between Government and the Licence holder. 3. 14 The mining industry is primarily regulated by the Mining Act and Regulations, although there are supporting statutes, such as the Quarries Act (Cap. 147), and the Explosives Act (Cap. 189). These Acts are administered by the Mines Section and the Mines Inspectorate within MRD 3. 15 Fiji’s occupational health and safety provisions pertaining to the mining industry is enshrined in the Mining Act and Regulations.

Where mining companies can show compliance with the regulations, and application of best-practice work standards, a system of self-monitoring will be developed in consultation with the Mineral Resources Department. This is based on the premise that safe working conditions lead to improved and efficient production in mining. [Contents] ——————————————————————————– SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY General Principles 4. 1 Government’s main aim for the mineral sector is to ensure that developments proceed in a sustainable manner.

Sustainable mineral sector projects are those that effectively incorporate community participation during the corporate decision-making process, that ensure an equitable distribution of the benefits arising from mine developments, and that, having carefully assessed the socio-environmental impacts, minimise these impacts. 4. 2 Government sets environmental policies at two levels; the Department of the Environment coordinates the formulation and implementation of national policies, while MRD, as the main regulating agency for the mineral sector, sets complementary mineral sector policies. . 3 For the purposes of the on-going monitoring/compliance programs, Fiji adopts a pragmatic policy towards compliance with acceptable socio-environmental standards and pollution abatement technology. Government places more emphasis on mining companies complying with agreed emission levels, than with the methods of abatement to achieve compliance. This then provides investors the flexibility to choose measures which will reduce pollution levels in the most cost effective manner, subject to Government approval. 4. Government promotes a self-regulatory approach to environmental monitoring. While the Government formulates and sets socio-environmental standards, it undertakes to work with the mining industry to develop codes of practice that will enable the mining industry to meet or exceed such standards. 4. 5 Government recognises and enforces the polluter-pays-principle. The developer will be liable to pay compensation to any person or community whose lifestyle or income is adversely affected by the socio-environmental impacts of the mine.

In addition, the developer is responsible for all costs associated with mitigation and rehabilitation activities as required, from initial exploration to post-closure of mining activity. 4. 6 Government requires that mining companies take precautionary measures to prevent or minimise negative socio-environmental impacts of mining. In instances where there is a significant risk of serious or irreversible damage, or an element of scientific or technical uncertainty exists regarding elements of mine development, Government then expects that precautionary abatement/mitigation measures be taken.

Where such measures are required they will be expected to address the worst case scenario. Specific Policies 4. 7 Government recognises the economic contribution of mineral sector developments to national growth, but also accepts that mineral sector developments have socio-environmental impacts. Government will ensure that only those developments which have a net benefit in terms of total costs and benefits (including economic, social and environmental costs and benefits) proceed. 4. 8 The Dept. f the Environment (as the national environmental policy formulating body) has established an environmental impact assessment process which provides a framework for the assessment of all socio-environmental impacts of mining projects. Developers are required to submit all information/assessments as required by this process to the Mineral Resources Department (as the primary regulating agency for the mineral sector). 4. 9 Developers are expected to identify anticipated impacts and suggest methods of compliance with acceptable international standards for mine-related environmental releases.

They are also expected to provide technical justification for their choice of environmental monitoring program, and for environmentally-sensitive mine-design decisions. During the Environmental Impact Assessment process the developer will recommend the necessary policies and measures to manage the socio-environmental impacts of the project. The developer will meet the costs of any required audit of the Environmental Impact Assessment document. 4. 10 The mining industry, in consultation with Government, will formulate an environmental code of practice for its members, and will set acceptable environmental standards.

In addition, the industry will be required to devise a self-regulatory mechanism to ensure that its members adhere to the codes of practice. This mechanism will be reviewed by the Mineral Resources Department. All monitoring, to ensure compliance with socio-environmental standards, will be undertaken by Government-accredited laboratories or consultants. All costs of monitoring will be borne by the mining project developer. 4. 11 Developers are required to post a refundable bankers guarantee, as surety of best practice. The amount of the bond will be determined by the MRD according to the element of risk associated with the project.

The full bond or a partial amount thereof may be used to remedy unacceptable environmental impacts of the mining project, or may be used as a penalty for late or non-remediation of remediable impacts identified during Environmental Impact Assessment process. 4. 12 The developer will pay compensation to any person or community whose well-being, environment, or income is adversely affected by the mining project. The level of compensation will be determined by Government, in consultation with the mine developer and the person or community entitled to such compensation, after considering the degree of impact.

Compensation is linked to the degree of impact, not to the value of the mineral. 4. 13 Wherever possible, mines are expected to rehabilitate progressively during their operation. Government believes that, ultimately, this will reduce the total costs of rehabilitation. In line with Government’s adoption of the precautionary principle, and to ensure that sufficient funds are available to complete rehabilitation at mine closure, the mining project developer will be expected to make contributions to a Mine Closure and Rehabilitation Fund.

The parameters and objectives of this fund will be established as part of the comprehensive Development Agreement, prior to mine construction. Contributions to the fund can be flexibly organised to reflect debt repayment or cyclical factors but the fund must represent a good faith effort by project sponsors to make financial provision for the maintenance or restoration of the mining area after the cessation of mining. The final state will be ascertained from the outset, and the repaired state will be subject to an impartial assessment, to ensure that it meets final state specifications. Contents] ——————————————————————————– LAND-USE POLICIES AND SECURITY OF TENURE General Principles 5. 1 In addition to the Mining Lease, developers are required to obtain a Land Lease to gain legal title to the land [2] on which they intend to mine. The Mining Lease and Land Lease (or Titles) confer on the developer the right to undertake specified activities in a defined area as stated in the leases. 5. Government acknowledges that security of land tenure is a critical issue for mineral sector investors. Hence Government is totally committed to enforcing investors land rights which are enshrined in both the 1990 Constitution and the Land Transfer Act (Cap. 131). The Land Lease itself is a legally binding document that guarantees security of land tenure. 5. 3 However, developers should be aware that in the long run, good communications with landowners are most likely to minimise land disputes during exploration and mining operations.

In island communities where land is in short supply, land problems are often associated with landowner dissatisfaction over the terms of compensation payments for land acquisition, surface land disturbance, and the loss of traditional land use. Without special compensatory policies, landowner grievances can become a significant impediment to harmonious long term mine operations. Prior to mine construction, mining companies must obtain formal agreement with the area residents, through the appropriate channels, regarding compensation payable for loss of tenure and damage to surface improvements. . 4 All compensation negotiations must be channelled through the appropriate official agencies in consultation with MRD. The agencies (see 5. 7) which assist mining companies with land compensation negotiations have as their main aim promoting projects which maximise benefits to the current and future land owners of the proposed development area without jeopardizing project viability. 5. 5 Unextracted minerals belong to the State, however, mining Royalty payments are paid to Government but then distributed to landowners.

Developers must recognise that the Royalty payment, for the right to extract minerals, and the compensation payments, for landowner loss of tenure and damage to land and improvements thereon are separate. Clear guidelines on how to assess each are provided in the Mining Act, the Native Land Trust Act (Cap. 134) and the Crown Acquisition of Lands Act (Cap. 135). Specific Policies 5. 6 Land Leases for Native Land can be obtained from, and are administered by the Native Land Trust Board (NLTB), Land Leases for State Lands can be obtained from the Lands Department, within the Ministry of Lands, Mining and Energy. . 7 For Native Land, pre-development relations with landowners should be channelled through the NLTB in coordination with MRD. Likewise, for all land compensation and land lease questions relating to Native Land, project sponsors should look to the NLTB for assistance. After mine development has occurred, mining companies may look both to local government authorities and NLTB for guidance and assistance. Land is a sensitive topic in island countries and mining companies should be prepared to spend time informing landowners of developments. 5. For State Land issues should be directed through Lands Department in consultation with MRD staff. Mineral sector investors are asked to meet certain criteria before land leases are issued, these relate to environmental protection, technical specifications for buildings and other aspects of infrastructure, as well as rural development. These criteria are determined by the Development Control Unit, within the Department of Town & Country Planning. 5. 9 The land administration agencies are essentially there to facilitate as well as regulate.

They recognise the importance of ensuring acceptable returns to the land owner while acknowledging that compensation payments can shift the balance from a viable to a non-viable project. Developers are encouraged to acquire independent land valuations prior to entering negotiations for land compensation. The NLTB undertakes its own land valuations and provides these to the landowners. For State Land, the Crown Acquisition of Lands Act stipulates the method of assessing compensation payable, and the elements to be considered in the compensation package. 5. 0 Government provides 2 levels of protection of property rights, and land tenure security for mineral sector investors. Protection against political expropriation exists in the form of insurance facilities to investors through the MIGA. At a local level, mineral sector investors’ land tenure rights are protected by the mining lease, and the land lease. 5. 11 Land disputes can arise from disagreements over lease conditions, or as a result of non-lease related issues. If the dispute concerns conditions in the land lease document, then the matter must be resolved between the 2 parties.

When the dispute has arisen on Native Land, due to non-lease issues, then the NLTB will intervene and draft guidelines for conflict resolution. In these cases the NLTB will act as a conciliator. For all land disputes, the Government and NLTB, will take an active role to ensure that an amicable settlement is reached as quickly as possible. [Contents] ——————————————————————————– POLICIES ON HOUSING, SOCIAL AND REGIONAL IMPACTS General Principles 6. 1 In many developing countries medium and large scale mineral developments are often accompanied by significant social and cultural impacts.

Government sees the creation of a workable social adjustment strategy as arising from a partnership in which investors, government and local groups participate. The terms of this partnership need to be clearly defined from the outset, and should be designed to minimize social/cultural impacts, and ensure that dislocations occur in a gradual and well-planned manner. 6. 2 Government believes that addressing the social impacts of a major mining project is the joint responsibility of the government and the project sponsor.

Mining companies are encouraged to take a direct interest in community relations and to undertake social initiatives in their own interests. While Government will undertake aggressive social adjustment programs, it also believes that direct participation and input by the mining company must be forthcoming to ensure the success of such programmes. Specific Policies 6. 3 Respect for the customs and cultural traditions of local people is an important element in establishing an enduring relationship between the mine and the resident community.

As part of its cultural awareness program, mining companies are expected to identify and preserve all sacred or socially important sites in the mining areas. Furthermore, mining companies should deal with rural Fijian society through traditional village authorities, and through the Ministry of Fijian Affairs, to ensure total support from landowners and area residents. 6. 4 Project sponsors are urged to see that all construction and operating personnel undergo a social orientation course about the people and customs of the mining region.

Government, through the Mineral Resources Department, and the Ministry of Fijian Affairs, will coordinate the development of the curriculum for this course. The course need not be lengthy or costly but it should leave mine workers with a clear sense of the social institutions and cultural traditions existing beyond the mine gate. 6. 5 From early in the exploration phase the project sponsor and Government, through the Ministry of Fijian Affairs, should collaborate on a public information and education program about the anticipated nature and impact of the project.

Government is mindful that premature release of information may unduly inflate residents expectations, and will be guided by mining company views on when certain information may appropriately be released. However, the Government of Fiji believes that a regular information flow needs to be established fairly early in the project cycle to avoid misconceptions and unwarranted rumours about potential mine development. Once the project has come into operation, mine management is urged to consider establishing resident liaison committees to facilitate information exchange and to provide residents with a forum for airing their views. . 6 Government expects mine worker housing to be kept separate from existing villages. While mining companies may not always need to provide housing, they are expected to ensure that suitable affordable housing is available for mine workers. All housing for mine workers must meet the technical specifications as determined by the Development Control Unit within the Department of Town and Country Planning. 6. 7 Government sees the provision of health and education as its primary social responsibility.

However, mining companies – as good corporate citizens – are encouraged to make a contribution toward basic health and educational facilities for workers (and their families). In the interests of preserving harmonious relations with the area residents, these basic social services should be extended to area residents. Where mine development occurs in proximity to existing social infrastructure facilities, mining company financial support can be reduced. 6. 8 Government policy is to discourage the development of squatter communities of unemployed migrants, which often arise around mine sites. To this end the mining company should try to ensure that all temporary buildings, infrastructure and facilities are removed from the project area as soon as they are no longer needed. Any permanent buildings or other facilities which the mining company wishes to use must be under the company’s direct control. 6. 9 Mining companies should be aware that Government promotes the employment of local workers from the mining region, to redirect some of the benefits from mine development directly to the local residents.

However, residents in many rural areas are not likely to have all the skills required by a new project and, indeed, some rural areas may be hard pressed to meet even the mines unskilled labour needs, without a substantial disruption to rural life. Government policy is to facilitate the employment of area residents at the mine by targeting mine area residents for mine-related study scholarships and training, however, employment of mine area residents is at the discretion of the mining companies. [Contents] ——————————————————————————–

LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY General Principles 7. 1 Even though the number of jobs created by mining is likely to be modest, labour and employment policies in the mining sector are very important to the Fiji Government. On the positive side, Government sees the mining sector as attracting relatively well paid, high-skill positions which can be directly transferable to other sectors of the economy. On the negative side, if mines use their ability to pay high wages to attract skilled workers away from other sectors, inflationary wage pressures can quickly emerge.

In Government’s view the key to maximizing benefits and minimizing wage pressures is for mining companies to pursue an aggressive program of skill training designed to maximise the participation of local citizens. These complementary programs of skill training and job localisation form the core of Government’s labour policy for the mining sector. 7. 2 While Fiji has a free collective bargaining system, mining companies are expected to adhere closely to national wage policy and to practice wage restraint.

An effective dispute settlement procedure is established in Fiji and is incorporated into comprehensive labour legislation [3]. Specific Policies 7. 3 Mining companies are expected to develop and maintain substantial internal training programs. In general, mine management needs to look to these programs rather than to the general economy to meet their needs for skilled labour. Government is prepared to open its training facilities [4] for collaborative programs with individual companies or with the mining industry in general. 7. There are no strict localization targets or rigid localization schedules in Fiji. However, experience has shown that Fiji workers are highly trainable, flexible and motivated. With this in mind, Government anticipates that most of the skilled positions in a new mine would be localized within the first few years of operation. For management and professional positions, localization may take substantially longer. While Government has no desire to set arbitrary timetables, mine managers should be prepared to submit studies on localization efforts and problems.

The Immigration Department which controls the localisation process, has adopted a facilitatory approach towards mineral sector investors, recognising the specialised labour requirements of that industry relative to other sectors. 7. 5 As in most developing nations, national wage levels are of concern. The ability of mining companies to pay wages which are higher than wages offered by other industries presents a special challenge to the Government’s wage policy.

Neither the mining industry nor the economy-at-large benefits from excessive wage pressure, and mining projects are expected to be sensitive to the special role that their wage levels may play in the national wage structure. Close cooperation between company personnel Government labour officials and the Mining and Quarrying Wages Council [5] is encouraged. 7. 6 In so far as wage differentials between expatriate employees and local recruits are necessary, employers are urged to make use of such devices as end-of-contract gratuities rather than to increase monthly pay levels, which can needlessly accentuate standard of living differences. . 7 Government believes that recruitment procedures and practices in the mining sector need to be carefully tailored to the situation of individual projects. As mentioned earlier, Government leaves the mining company to recruit without Government interference. However, it should be recognised that residents in many rural areas are not likely to have all the skills required by a new project and, indeed, some rural areas may be hard pressed to meet even the mine’s unskilled labour needs, without a substantial disruption to rural life.

In situations where recruitment of people from outside the immediate area is necessary, mining companies should send recruitment teams to other prospective regions rather than advertising and recruiting outsiders at the mine site itself. In this suggestion, Government is seeking to avoid a situation where unemployed migrants are attracted to the mining area on the mere prospect of work. Government believes that once it becomes clear that only residents can be recruited at the mine site, the migrant/squatter problem will become more manageable. [Contents] ——————————————————————————- INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY General Principles 8. 1 Government understands that a major mining project requires substantial infrastructural investment. This investment may, in many cases, be critical to the financial viability of the project. While Government does not normally finance specialized infrastructure, Fiji is willing to participate in multi-use infrastructure projects where major benefits accrue to the public-at-large. The conditions of such assistance will be judged on a case-by-case basis. . 2 All mineral project infrastructure is expected to comply with existing technical specifications, of similar infrastructure already in use in Fiji, as determined by the relevant Regulations [6]. Wherever possible, mine infrastructure should be compatible with existing infrastructure and should be maintainable through normal supplier networks within Fiji. Where project infrastructure transits areas outside the immediate mining lease area, access should be available to the general public on the basis of national policy. 8. All infrastructure planning should take place in full consultation with the appropriate technical authorities within the Fiji Government. Government believes that close liaison between Government and the mining company for infrastructure developments will ensure compatibility with existing infrastructure and provide the mine developer with a realistic appraisal of local conditions. Specific Policies 8. 4 Government feels that the development of multi-use infrastructure is an important and highly desirable benefit of new mine construction.

Fiji will seek, wherever possible to facilitate construction of infrastructure projects which can serve both mine and public purposes. To be considered for Government participation, infrastructure projects must: be cost effective, have quantifiable social benefits, contribute to rural or social development, and be within the general scope of public sector infrastructure investment planning criteria [7] The nature of Government’s involvement will vary according to the type of infrastructure required, although, in general, Government takes a flexible approach towards infrastructure development and management. . 5 At the conclusion of mining, all infrastructure shall be offered for sale at the depreciated value, on a first-right-of-refusal basis, to the Fiji Government. Should Government decline to assume ownership of the infrastructure, the company shall, at its own expense, be responsible for ensuring that all infrastructure facilities are left in a safe condition. [Contents] ——————————————————————————– Footnotes [1] MIGA is an independent agency of the World Bank mandated to help facilitate increased flows of foreign direct investment to developing countries.

Its core area of business is providing political risk insurance to foreign investors; available risk coverage includes war and civil disturbance, currency transfer/ inconvertibility, expropriation and breach of contract. [Back to Text] [2] Land in Fiji is divided into 3 types, Native Land (83% of all land in Fiji), State Land (9%), and Freehold Land (8%). [Back to Text] [3] Fiji’s labour laws are found in the following Acts: Employment Act (Cap. 92), Workmen’s Compensation Act (Cap. 94) Trade Unions Act (Cap. 96), the Trade Unions (Recognition) Act (Cap. 6A), the Trade Disputes Act (Cap. 97), and the Wages Councils Act (Cap. 98). All are administered by the Department of Labour. [Back to Text] [4] The Fiji National Training Council (FNTC) is the official Government body which exists to provide training to employees of both the private and public sector. It delivers training courses on the basis of market demand, and funds these by the ‘FNTC Levy’, which is a 1% tax on employers’ gross payrolls. Where companies choose to train workers in-house, 90% of the levy paid is refunded in accordance with the Fiji National Training Act (Cap. 3). [Back] [5] The Mining and Quarrying Wages Council is an official body, established under the Wages Council Act to determine the minimum wages and conditions appropriate for the mining industry. Industry representatives hold permanent seats on this council. [Back to Text] [6] Regulations governing the various areas of infrastructure include: Electricity Act (Cap. 180), Housing Act (Cap. 267), Ports Authority of Fiji Act (Cap. 181), Roads Act (Cap. 175), Sewerage Act (Cap. 111), Telecommunications Act (Cap. 173), Water Supply Act (Cap. 9). Each Act is administered by the relevant authority. [Back to Text] [7] For energy projects, preference is given to renewable energy alternatives. [Back to Text] [Contents] ——————————————————————————– GLOSSARY Closed and Protected Areas: Certain areas may be declared closed or protected by the Minister for Lands, Mining and Energy through Public Notice. No prospecting or mining is then allowed in these areas without the consent of that Minister. Protected areas are limited to 250 ha.

Tenders may be called for the right to prospect or mine in any such area, however, rights granted can be subject to the imposition of special conditions to enable the regulation and control of the mineral exploration and mining in the area. Mature Areas: Mature areas have been prospected before, have been well documented in reports and have the potential for more intensive exploration. Minerals: Minerals include precious metals, precious stones, earthy minerals, radioactive minerals, coal, and metalliferous minerals.

Clay, gravel, sand, stone or other common mineral substances and hydro- carbons are not included in the definition for the purposes of this policy paper. Mining Lease: Mining Leases are granted for not less than 5 and no more than 21 years. The acreage for precious metals under a Mining Lease shall not exceed 40 hectares, for non-precious minerals the acreage shall not exceed 128 hectares. Mining Tenement: Mining Tenement means any lease, licence, right, permit, title, easement or privilege other than a Prospectors Right, relating to prospecting and mining. Permit to Mine:

Permits to Mine are granted for 2 years and are renewable for 1 year at a time. Permits to Mine can be substituted by a Mining Lease if the area subject to a Permit to Mine can be shown to have longer term mining potential. Acreage for grant under a Permit to Mine is the same as for a Mining Lease. Prospecting Licence: Prospecting Licences give exclusive rights to the holder to prospect for the mineral(s) specified in the Licence. Prospecting Licences are granted for areas not more than 400 hectares; they can be granted for a maximum of 5 years and are renewable.

Other different Mining Tenements can be applied for over a land area already under a Prospecting Licence. Prospectors Right: Prospectors Rights are granted to any person over the age of 21 for the purpose of entering any land to prospect for any mineral and to mark out and apply for a Mining Tenement. Prospectors Rights are granted for 1 year at a time. Road Access Licences: These are granted to the holder of a Mining Tenement which authorizes the holder, the holders servants and agents to pass over the land subject to such tenement and to construct roads thereon.

Road Access Licences are not less than 4. 5 metres wide and not more than 20 metres wide. Special Mining Lease: Special Mining Leases are granted for 5 to 21 years and are subject to special terms (including acreage) and conditions negotiated between the Director of Mines and the applicant. Special Prospecting Licence: Special Prospecting Licences are granted for areas not less than 1300 hectares and are granted with special terms and conditions after negotiations between the Licence applicant and the Director of Mines.

The more common special conditions relate to reporting requirements, exploration programmes, exploration commitment, bonds for compensation and non-compliance. Special Site Right: Special Sight Rights are granted to a holder of a Mining Tenement for the purpose of the construction and use of passageways other than roads, water rights with erection of machinery, and disposal of earth and tailings. [Contents] ——————————————————————————–