Legislators have reconsidered and passed the Mining and Minerals Bill 2022 with amendments primarily to protect artisan miners and to elaborate the licensing requirement for mining.
The MPs agreed that mining licenses should not be awarded founded on size of mines or mining sites and ore volumes but rather be based on capital investment involved.
The argument of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources was that base metals such as Zinc and Copper are produced in large volumes whereas Tungsten or Tin are produced in low volumes, yet the values are not directly related to the volumes.
The Bill further dictates that competitive bidding shall not apply to areas under a mineral right except for a mineral right owned by a state-owned enterprise.
The Bill also proposes licenses being based on capital investments.
The proposed rates are US$100 million and above for large scale licenses, US$300,000 to US$100 million for medium scale licenses, US$100,000 to US$5 million for small scale licenses and US$100,000 and below for artisan Miners.
In February this year, the Bill was passed by Parliament and sent to the President for ascent who sent it back to have the aforementioned areas revisited.
The Bill mandates the National Mining Company to hold 15 per cent free equity in all large and medium mining ventures as well as have the right to pay up 20 per cent extra shares in the mining ventures at the commercial rate.
The new law also provides for the participation of host communities in the entire decision-making chain of mining.
This means that information on licenses, environment and social impact assessments will be provided both at the national and local government levels.