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.