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Part B: Mineral Rights - Part B-1: Mineral Licences - Prospecting/Reconnaissance - 24. Prospecting/Reconnaissance Licencing | 24.13 Transfer/Assignment of Rights

Transfer and assignment of rights often addresses whether a prospecting/reconnaissance licence holder may hand over, sell, rent either part or the whole of their licence to another person or entity or in any way encumber or place a lien on the licence for the benefit of such other person or entity. Reconnaissance-type prospecting licences that are non-exclusive, even in jurisdictions where they constitute mining rights, are typically non-transferrable. Since such rights are non-exclusive, any eligible person can simply apply directly for a prospecting/reconnaissance licence of their own over the same area, so there is no real need for transfers of such rights. In the relatively rare case where reconnaissance-type prospecting licences are exclusive, they tend to be transferable.

24.13 Example 1:

Article [_]

A prospecting/reconnaissance licence is not transferable.


Drawn from Sierra Leon’s mining law (2009), a non-exclusive prospecting/reconnaissance licence is not transferable. This is a typical provision. Because a non-exclusive prospecting/reconnaissance licence over the same area is available from the Regulating Authority, there is no need for transferability.

24.13 Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) A prospecting right or reconnaissance permit confers on the holder an exclusive right to carry out prospecting and reconnaissance investigations for minerals belonging to the group for which said permit was issued, within the boundaries of the holder's area and with no limit as to depth.

(2) A prospecting right or reconnaissance permit is a movable indivisible right that may not be subleased. It may be assigned or transferred. To this end, a rights holder must send [the regulatory authority] any contract or agreement through which it purports confer, assign or transfer the rights and obligations arising from the prospecting permit to a third party.

The assignment or transfer of a prospecting right may only occur under the same conditions which applied for the allocation of the right and shall be subject to the assignor providing [the regulatory authority] with a report on the work carried out in accordance with the Establishment Convention. The assignment or transfer shall take effect only when the order from [the regulatory authority] comes into operation.

The assignee or heir must apply for the permit within thirty (30) days from the signing of the deed of assignment or the legal instrument in which the heirs were designated, which must have been finalised subject to the condition precedent of regulatory authority approval. The terms for assignment and transfer shall be specified in the implementing decree from the regulatory authority.


Drawn from Mali’s mining law (2012), this provision states that the exclusive prospecting/reconnaissance licence is transferable. As noted above, an exclusive prospecting/reconnaissance licence is more valuable to an investor and is more likely to have given rise to significant investment than a non-exclusive licence. In order to attract junior companies that focus on early stage reconnaissance and prospecting before selling their assets to a larger mining company, this provision grants a robust prospecting/reconnaissance right that promotes investment in previously unexplored or underexplored areas.