The department’s core functions as enshrined in the Mines and Minerals Development Act is the administration of mining and non- mining rights. It has the sole responsibility of overseeing the process of granting and managing mineral licenses throughout the country.
The department’s key responsibilities can be broken down as follows:
- Receiving applications for mining and non- mining right, license renewals, alterations, transfer of licenses or control thereof, amendment and abandonment of licenses;
- Using the ‘First in – First Out’ or FIFO principle, to capture new applications in the order they are received;
- Conducting validation and technical evaluation of all received applications
- Convening monthly Mining Licensing Committee (MLC) meetings in order to approve or reject applications;
- Producing updated cadastral maps on which existing minerals rights, pending applications, and areas restricted for mining and exploration activities are correctly plotted;
- Keeping cadastral maps and registers open and accessible for public inspection when need arises;
- Conducting technical appraisals and initiating the process for the revocation, cancellation, rejection or expiration of applications and licenses that are non-compliant with set terms and conditions in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the general regulations;
- Acting as a technical referee in the event of dissension between holders in terms of location of areas over which licenses have been granted and resolving any disputes resulting from the demarcation of beacons and boundary lines of areas subject to mining and non-mining rights;
- Collecting administrative fees for mining and non-mining rights applications, transfers, extensions, reductions, amendments and abandonments;
- Collecting ground rent known as Annual Area Charges from holders of mineral rights and issuing Demand Notices to those in default;
- The department also performs the functions of secretariat to the Mining Licensing Committee (MLC) and hosts the MLC meetings;
- Maintaining the Trimble Landfolio system in order to enhance data integrity.
The main objectives of the department are:
– To administer all mining rights and mineral processing licenses in accordance with the provisions of the Act and its subsidiary legislation;
– To ensure implementation of the minerals resources development policy
FUNCTIONS OF THE MINING CADASTRE DEPARTMENT
- a) Management of mining and non-mining rights registers;
- b) Communicating with applicants and title holders, advertisements, physical records and arches.
- c) Maintenance of mining rights graphic data and maps;
- d) Extracting of data from the computerized Cadastre system and conversion into client friendly information;
- e) Interface of the mining rights with other economic land users for the benefit of the stakeholders;
- f) Receipt and processing of mining rights; and
- g) Operating the computerised processing system for Mining rights administration
The department is divided into one section and four units as follows:
- The Mining Cadastre Section: the section is the nerve centre of all departmental functions. It is responsible for the day to day administration of mining and non-mining rights. Within the section there are two (2) units namely:
(i) The Mining Rights Registry – This unit serves as the department’s front office or inquiries and is the first point of call. It is responsible for the receipt and registration of mining and non-mining rights applications, applications for transfers, extensions, reductions, amendments and abandonments. It is the depository of the Priority and General Registers and is also the receiving and dispatch office for incoming correspondence and client notifications respectively. In addition, the Mining Rights Registry monitors and enforces mining and non-mining rights compliance with the Act.
(ii) The Licensing Unit – is the mining and non-mining rights application processing
office and is responsible for verifying that applications and licenses do not overlap and
have the correct spatial requirements (compliant coordinates).
The technical evaluation of applications function also falls within this category. All
applications received once cleared at validation stage have to undergo a thorough technical evaluation by a team of engineers to ascertain the strengths and viability of proposed exploration, mining or mineral processing projects.
The rest of the units are:
(iii) The Systems Administration Unit – which is responsible for the maintenance of the
Local Area Network (LAN), Management of the Cadastre Domain.
The Department runs three (3) integrated systems: Trimble Landfolio system, on-line
Mining Cadastre Transactional Portal and Map Portal systems.
(iv) The General Administration Unit – the section provides support services to the
department which include collection of license fees and area charges, maintenance of
accounts records, procurement of goods and services, management of vehicles,
maintenance of the Mining Cadastre building, general records management and
digitization, file delivery and cleaning of offices.
RENEWAL OF MINING RIGHT AND MINERAL PROCESSING LICENCE.
An application for renewal of a mining right or mineral processing license shall be made:
- For an exploration license, six months before the expiry date of the license;
- For a mining license, in the case of –
(i) Artisanal mining, three months before the expiry date of the license;
(ii) Small-scale mining, six months before the expiry date of the license; and
(iii) Large-scale mining, one year before the expiry date of the license; and
(c) For a mineral processing license, one year before the expiry date of the license.
Form XIII shall be used for renewal for the above types of licenses.
(3.) An application for renewal of a mining right shall be in Form XIII.
ALTERATION OF EXPLORATION OR MINING AREA
- A holder intending to alter the holder’s exploration area or mining area shall apply to the Director of Mining Cadastre, in Form XV.
- A new exploration area or mining area shall conform to the prescribed cadastral units and the geometrical rules specified under regulation 4.
- The maximum surface area for which a license or mining right may be granted shall not exceed the area stipulated in sections twenty-one and thirty of the Act.
- The Mining Cadastre Office shall, pending the approval of an application for alteration of an exploration area or a mining area, provisionally plot the new perimeter on the cadastral map and record the new perimeters in accordance with regulation 5.
TRANSFER OR ASSIGNMENT OF MINING RIGHT OR MINERAL PROCESSING LICENCE
- An application for consent to –
- register the transfer of a share or shares in a company which holds a mining right or mineral processing license;
- transfer control of a company which holds a mining right or mineral processing license; or
- Transfer or assign a mining right or mineral processing license;
- Made by an assignor at any time during the validity of a mining right
but not less than one hundred and twenty days before the expiry of the license; and
- be accompanied by an application for a mining right or mineral processing license, as the case may be, made by the prospective assignee.
- The Minister shall, where an application made under regulation 29 meets the requirements of the Act and these Regulations, grant consent to assign or transfer a mining right or mineral processing licence in Form XXX
ABANDONMENT OF MINING RIGHT AREA
An application for the abandonment of all or any part of any land subject to a mining or exploration licence shall be in Form XVII set out in the First Schedule.
The Director of Mining Cadastre shall,
Where the Director of Mining Cadastre approves an application for the abandonment of land, grant the
Certificate of abandonment.
AMENDMENT OF MINING RIGHT AREA.
An application to amend a mining right or mineral processing license shall, upon payment of the fees set out in the Second Schedule, be made to the Director of Mining Cadastre in Form XI set out in the First Schedule.
Where the application for amendment relates to the inclusion of minerals –
- for a mining right or mineral processing license, the application shall include a programme of operations for the additional minerals approved by the Director of Mining Cadastre Department.