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Part B: Mineral Rights - Part B-5: Development Minerals - 29. Development Minerals | 29.3 Ownership of Development Minerals

The constitutions of most African countries vest all minerals, including development minerals, in the state or the President on behalf of the citizens. And the Minister responsible for minerals or other authority designated by the President exercises the right to take various actions in relation to the minerals such as negotiations, grants, renewals, termination and providing conditions for dealing with minerals in accordance with applicable laws. However, since most development minerals are most optimally utilized within a limited radius of their production, it is recommended that regulation of such minerals is devolved to the locality where the minerals are produced. Federal governments may also consider vesting the ownership of development minerals in states to facilitate their optimization. It is noted that local government administrations may have little or no capacity to deal with mineral rights issues. But this may be resolved by building local capacity to deal with regulation of the specified development minerals. Alternatively, the local or district office of the regulating entity or ministry may continue to process mineral right applications in accordance with applicable laws but the granting authority could be the local government authority (e.g. district administrator) instead of the Minister or the Commissioner of mines.

29.3 Example 1:

Article [_]

Notwithstanding section [_] of this [Law][Act][Code] and/or [a law to the contrary] the property in [list applicable minerals] shall vest in the [States] [Districts] in which such minerals occur and the [Governor] [District Administrator] may on the recommendation of the [district mining officer] negotiate, grant, revoke, suspend or administer mineral rights in accordance with this [Law][Act][Code].


This example vests development minerals in the sub-national authority (e.g. states in a federal system) and empowers the local authority to make decisions in relation to such minerals.

29.3 Example 2:

Article [_]

Notwithstanding section [_] of this [Law][Act][Code] and/or [a law to the contrary] a [Governor] [District Administrator] of a [State] [District] in which (state applicable minerals) occur may on behalf of the [President] negotiate, grant, revoke, suspend or administer mineral rights in relation to those minerals subject to the recommendation of the [district mining officer] in accordance with the mining [Law][Act][Code].


In this example the minerals remain the property of the national government but the sub-national or local authority is authorized to make decisions in relation to the minerals on behalf of the owner of the minerals.