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Part B: Mineral Rights - Part B-3: Large Scale Exploitation - 26. Large Scale Exploitation Licensing | 26.15 Specific Violations and Penalties

In addition to the general Offenses and Penalties described in Part A of this Guiding Template, the common specific violations and penalties that apply to large scale exploitation licences are (1) conducting exploitation activities in an area for which the operator does not hold a licence, (2) not meeting the work and expenditure requirements, and (3) failing to secure the site under the licence both during and after the licence has terminated. It is therefore of critical importance to clearly define in one place obligations for large scale mining licence holders. Typical penalties include fines, suspension of the mineral right, and seizure `of minerals (that are mined illegally).

26.15. Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) No holder of a mining licence shall engage in wasteful mining or treatment practices or conduct his operations otherwise than in accordance with good mining practice.

(2) If the [Regulating Authority] considers that the holder of a mining licence is in breach of subsection (1), he may notify him accordingly and require him to show cause why he should not discontinue such breach.

(3) If, within the time specified in any notice issued under subsection (2), the holder of a mining licence fails to discontinue the breach or to satisfy the [Regulating Authority] that he is not in breach, the [Regulating Authority] may direct the holder to discontinue the breach and the holder shall comply with such direction.


Drawn from Botswana’s mining law (1999), while Botswana’s mining law has a general “Offenses and Penalties” section applicable to all mineral rights holders, the law specifically prohibits wasteful mining or treatment practices on the part of the mineral rights holder. It is of value to place this specific obligation apart from the general offense section due to the larger impact (and larger range of mining activities) that typically take place uniquely under mining licences.

26.15. Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) In addition to the cases referred to in Article [_] (concerning the withdrawal of an operating licence due to the development work for the mining site not commencing within twelve months from the date the licence is allocated), any mining title holder, after notice has been given, may lose:

(a) their title, in one of the following cases:

(i) failure to pay the mining fees due to the State and to the local authorities, according to the tax regime which is in force;

(ii) any cession, assignment or subleasing which does not comply with the rules established in the present [Code][Act][Law];

(iii) any serious breach of the regulations of the central mining department as regards law and order, health and safety, or in the event that the measures imposed in application of Article [_] (on holders whose applications for mining titles will be refused for a period of five years due to the fact that they were sentenced to a period of imprisonment or they failed to fulfil their rehabilitation obligations) are not complied with;

(b) their operating license, due to:

(i) the fact that, for an extended time, operations have not been undertaken or have been undertaken to an insufficient degree, which is clearly contrary to the potential for the deposit or the interests of consumers, and not justified by the state of the market;

(ii) operations have been carried out under conditions which seriously compromise the economic value, conservation and subsequent use of the deposits;

(iii) failure to comply with the terms laid down in Article [_] (on the obligation to apply methods which have been confirmed as the most suitable, enabling optimal output) and failure to fulfil the commitments referred to in Article [_] (on the content of the Agreement signed between the Holder and the State) and Article [_] (on the commitments of the recipient under the Agreement) of the present [Law][Act][Code].


Drawn from the Republic of Congo’s mining law (2005). This law includes a general chapter on offenses and penalties, but also contains a chapter that lays out specific types of licence holder violations that can lead to revocation of mining rights. This provision addresses holders of research permits as well as large scale exploitation licence holders, and applies equally to those who have mining rights under a valid lease agreement.