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Part B: Mineral Rights - Part B-2: Exploration - 25. Exploration Licensing | 25.10 Termination of Licence

A mining law should state clearly in one place the various ways in which an exploration licence can terminate, which would include expiration of the term, surrender by the holder, and cancellation or withdrawal by the issuing authority. The law should make clear what the status of the licenced area is upon termination in each manner and any remaining potential liabilities or incapacities that the licence holder may have upon termination.

Some mining laws also provide that an exploration licence is automatically extended during the application process for a mining right once a timely application by the holder has been filed.

25.10 Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) Any right, permit, permission or licence granted or issued in terms of this [Act][Code][Law] shall lapse, whenever –

(a) it expires;

(b) the holder thereof is deceased and there are no successors in title;

(c) a company or close corporation is deregistered in terms of the relevant acts and no application has been made or was made to the [Regulating Authority] for the consent in terms of section [_] (requiring the consent of the Administrative Reviewer for transfers of mineral rights) or such permission has been refused;

(d) save for cases referred to in section [_] (establishing an exception to the consent requirement for certain mortgages and security interests), the holder is liquidated or sequestrated;

(e) it is cancelled in terms of section [_] (concerning the Administrative Reviewer’s authority to cancel mineral rights); or

(f) it is abandoned.


Drawn from South Africa’s mining law (2002) this provision states all of the different ways in which a mineral right granted pursuant to the act may terminate. However, it does not go on to specify the consequences for the area, any installed structures and equipment, or the licence holder under each form of termination.

25.10 Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) A mining right or authorisation expires at the end of the period for which it was granted (including subsequent renewals thereof), by relinquishment or by revocation. At the end of the term of a mining right or authorisation, the rights conferred on its holder revert to the State free of charge.

(2) Rights granted by the holder to third parties over substances and within the zone covered by the right, automatically lapse at the end of the term of such right.

(3) However, the holder of a mining right or mining operation permit for quarry substances remains liable for the payment of outstanding duties and taxes and for the obligations incumbent upon it with respect to the environment and rehabilitation of the developed sites, as well as for all the other obligations contemplated under this [Code][Act]Law], its implementing regulations and in the terms of reference or the mining agreement.

(4) Furthermore, the mining rights holder shall provide the [Regulating Authority] of a detailed report on the work carried out in five (5) copies. All information provided shall become the property of the State.


Drawn from the unofficial English translation of Guinea’s Amended Mining Code (2011), this provision:

  • States the three grounds on which mineral licences terminate: (i) at the end of their term, (ii) by relinquishment, or (iii) by revocation;
  • Establishes that the rights revert to the State upon termination and that all rights granted to third parties lapse upon expiration;
  • Preserves the obligations of the mineral licence or authorisation holder after expiration, particularly as to payments due and site rehabilitation; and
  • Requires the holder to submit a final report of work carried out to the Mining Administration.

Thus, these terms clarify the status of the mineral rights and related obligations at termination of the mineral licence or authorisation. This provision applies to both exploration and exploitation licences.