types of mining for gold in ghana

gold mining in ghana (2020) - jxsc machine

gold mining in ghana (2020) - jxsc machine

Ghana has replaced South Africa as the largest gold producer on the African continent, which is no longer news for smart and important mining investors. Ghana s mining industry is almost all gold mining.

Ghana s gold production can be traced back to the colonial period, although the output was small at that time, until the 1970s and 1980s, Ghana began to open up mineral resources and carry out exploration work.

Today, several world s top gold giants have established gold mining bases in Ghana to participate in gold exploration and mining. These large gold mining companies include Gold Fields Limited, Toronto-based IAMGOLD Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Golden Star Resources Ltd and Newmont Mining Corporation. Other important companies that are conducting gold exploration in Ghana include Adamus Resources Ltd., Xtra Gold Resources, African Gold plc, Perseus Mining Limited, Moydow Mines International Inc. and Pelangio Mines Inc.

Although Ghana s recent actions against illegal gold mining are in full swing, Ghana still leaves huge investment potential for legitimate gold investors. Some of the major gold mines currently operating in the country include:

As the top gold producer in Africa, Ghana has a considerable number of gold mines being mined or constructed. Other important mines include Bogoso Gold Mine, Prestea Underground Gold Mine, Ahafo Gold Mine and Damang Gold Mine.

From December 17, 2018, the government of Ghana officially lifted the ban on small-scale gold mining, allowing small-scale gold mining enterprises in Ghana that have been audited by the Ghanaian government and have full certificates to resume mining.

However, the Ghanaian government also emphasized that lifting the ban on small-scale gold mining is not lifting illegal gold mining. Any gold mining that is not approved by the Ghanaian government is illegal. The lifting of small-scale gold mining is only for citizens of Ghana. It is still illegal for foreigners to participate in small-scale gold mining.

ghana: #1 gold producer in africa | newcore gold

ghana: #1 gold producer in africa | newcore gold

1 Information sources: 2019 production volumes and ranking for Ghana and South Africa sourced from the World Gold Council; Nevada details as per the Nevada Division of Minerals -Major Mines of Nevada 2019publication 2 International Council of Mining & Metals, Mining in Ghana, What Future Can We Expect? 3 ghanaweb.com, June 12, 2019 - Economic Impact of Mining in Ghana 4 oec.world, Ghana Economic Complexity

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mining in ghana - legalstone solicitors llp

mining in ghana - legalstone solicitors llp

Ghana has overtaken South Africa to become the largest gold producer and exporter in Africa. Gold is a major export commodity for Ghana and contributes significantly to Ghanas revenue. This precious metal contributes nearly 48% of the countrys revenue.

These laws listed constitute the principal and subordinate legislation regulating the mining of industrial minerals, including gold in Ghana. It sets out the licensing regime for gold mining in Ghana, the rights of a mining leaseholder, as well as the objects and powers of regulatory institutions in the industry, including the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission, among others.

In terms of regulation, the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission of Ghana is the chief administrative bodies regulating the sector. They provide the framework for the conduct of explorations of gold in Ghana, as succinctly stated in the laws listed above.

However, the holder of a mineral right is required before undertaking an activity or operations under the licence, to obtain the necessary approval and permits required from the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. This is significant in ensuring the protection of natural resources, public health, and the environment.

Under the principal Act, the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land in Ghana, rivers, streams, water-courses throughout the country, the exclusive economic zone or any area covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic of Ghana. It is vested in the President in trust for the people of Ghana.

Subject to Act 703 and the Subordinate legislation listed above, a reconnaissance license confers on the holder and a person, exclusive right to carry on reconnaissance in the reconnaissance area for the minerals to which the reconnaissance license relates and to conduct other ancillary or incidental activity.

The Minister responsible for mines may, on an application duly made by a qualified person and on the recommendation of the Minerals Commission, grant prospecting license in respect of all or any minerals specified in the application. The holder of a prospecting permit may in the exercise of the rights under the license, enter upon the land to which the licence relates to undertaking the following;

A holder of a reconnaissance license or prospecting license may, before the expiration of the license, apply for a mining lease in respect of all or any of the minerals, the subject of the permit and in respect of all or any one or more of the blocks which constitute the reconnaissance or prospecting area.

Where a mineral right is for mining or exploration, the Government of Ghana shall be entitled to 10% free carried interest in the rights and obligations of the mineral operations in respect of which the government shall not make a financial contribution. The government is, however, not precluded from obtaining further participation in mineral operations that may be agreed with the holder.

Except for small-scale mining rights that can be granted to an individual as provided for under Act 703, only corporate bodies incorporated in Ghana under the laws of the Republic of Ghana shall be given a mineral right in Ghana. A license for small-scale mining is, however, granted only to a citizen of the Republic of Ghana who has attained the age of 18 years and is registered by the office of the Minerals Commission in an area designated and known as the District Office. No foreigner under any circumstances is allowed to participate in the small-scale mining industry.

Foreign entities can hold mineral rights in Ghana by incorporating a company in Ghana with its object, among others been mining and exploration activities. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865), prescribes the minimum capital threshold for non-Ghanaians for participation in various sectors of the economy, including that of mining.

The law provides, that where the foreign investor has a Ghanaian partner, the foreign investor is required to invest a foreign capital of not less than TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$200,000.00) in cash or capital goods relevant to the investment or a combination of both by way of equity participation and the person who is a citizen must hold not less ten %of the equity.

However, where the foreign investor wholly owns the company, the law, as stated provides, that the investor must invest a minimum of not less than FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$500,000.00) to have the company incorporated and licensed by the Centre.

It is important to stress that under the mining laws of Ghana, a foreign investor is not mandated to have a partner to participate in the mining industry as pertains to the oil and gas, gaming, and other sectors of the economy.

The only restriction to participate in the mining industry in Ghana by an entity incorporated by a foreigner is that it cannot engage in operations relating to industrial minerals unless it commits in its proposed program to invest at least TEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$10,000,000.00) in the operations.

Industrial minerals mean basalt, clay, granite, gravel, gypsum, laterite, limestone, marble, rock, sand, sandstone, slate, talc, salt, and other minerals as the Minister of Mines may from time to time declare.

The law requires that a mineral right shall not in whole or part be transferred, assigned, or mortgaged or otherwise encumbered or dealt in any manner without the prior approval of the Minister responsible for mines. The approval, however, shall not be unreasonably withheld or given subject to unreasonable conditions.

This therefore demonstrates, that a foreign entity that meets all requirements set out under Act 703, the Companies Act and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, shall with the approval of the Minister responsible for Mines be entitled to partner an indigenous Ghanaian company with a mineral right to explore for the minerals in Ghana.

The law states that within 30 days of receipt of an application for approval of an assignment of mineral rights and or any arrangement, be it mortgage or joint ventures arrangement, the Minister shall be required to give written reasons for approval or rejection of that arrangement. However, if the Minister fails to do so, then the Minister shall upon a request by an applicant give written reasons to the applicant for the failure to communicate a decision on the application. This subsequent communication from the Minister shall reach the applicant within 14 days of receipt of the request from the applicant.

The holder of a mining lease is entitled to several incentives and benefits in Ghana. Among them, the holder is entitled to capitalization of expenditure on reconnaissance and prospecting approved by the Minister on the advice of the Minerals Commission, where the holder starts the development of the commercial find.

There are ample provisions under the mineral and mining laws when it comes to the resolution of disputes in Ghana. The law urges all players in the mining industry to make efforts to have all disputes resolved through mutual discussions.

However, where a dispute arises between a holder of a mineral right who is a citizen and the Republic in respect of a matter expressly stated under Act 703, such a dispute shall be referred for resolution. If same is not resolved amicably within 30days of the dispute arising or a more extended period as agreed between the parties, the difference may be submitted by a party to the conflict to arbitration for settlement under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, 2010 (Act 798) or any other enactment of such nature that may be in place.

On the other hand, where a dispute arises between a holder who is not a citizen and the Republic in respect of a matter expressly stated under Act 703, such a dispute or question shall be referred for resolution, and if the same is not resolved amicably within 30days of the dispute arising or a more extended period as agreed between the parties, the difference may be resolved using any of the following mechanism;

Ghana has signed and ratified investment treaties with Denmark, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, among others. These investment treaties generally protect investments of nationals from the contracting parties.

To guarantee the investments by mining companies, the Minister may enter with a stability agreement with the holder to ensure that the holder of a mining lease, shall for a period not exceeding 15years from the date of the contract be affected by a new enactment, order or an instrument.

The foreign entity should have access to legal representation before it seeks to incorporate a company for the application of mineral rights in Ghana. Most especially when the foreign entity aims to enter into a joint venture with a Ghanaian company having a mineral right in Ghana, not only will the local legal representative conduct due diligence on the local company to ascertain the veracity of its mineral lease. Most importantly, the lawyer will also be expected to educate and or proffer sound professional advice to the foreign entity on any changes in the laws and regulations governing the acquisition of mineral rights in Ghana.

Also, the legal representative shall police the processes leading to the incorporation of the company with the Registrar Generals Department, registration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and the application of the mineral rights from the Minerals Commission of Ghana. Timely legal advice must be obtained from a lawyer with knowledge and working experience in Minerals and Mining in Ghana.

The Legal Representative shall also be responsible for the formulation and the drafting of agreements to govern all transactions in Ghana. This is intended to secure the interest of the parties to the transaction and ensure that their reasonable expectation is meet at the end of the day.

Mr David Yaw Danquah is the founder and Managing Partner of Legalstone Solicitors LLP, a boutique law firm in Ghana with a concentration on Corporate and Commercial, Mining and Infrastructure, Debt Recovery and Restructuring, Real Estate and Construction Law, and Commercial Arbitration.

David has advised on numerous investment and mining-related transactions. He also has assisted countless international entities in establishing their operations in Ghana, and through his firms, offers support services to those entities. He has an impeccable record of providing technical savvy and exceptional client services.

David is a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, where he received his Bachelors Degree in Law (LL. B) and the Ghana School of Law, where he studied and received a Post Graduate Qualifying Certificate in Law (PQCL). He holds a Certificate in Negotiation Mastery from Harvard University. Presently, he is pursuing an LL.M Degree in International Dispute Resolution at the prestigious Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.

The contents of this publication, current at the date of publication set out above, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your particular circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

2021 Legalstone Solicitors LLP. The firm is an incorporated private partnership registered under the laws of the Republic of Ghana with registration number C0007120044 and licensed by the General Legal Council to offer legal services. Powered by Vivisoft Ghana

mining law 2021 | laws and regulations | ghana | iclg

mining law 2021 | laws and regulations | ghana | iclg

ICLG - Mining Laws and Regulations - Ghana covers common issues in mining laws and regulations including the acquisition of rights, ownership requirements and restrictions, processing, transfer and encumbrance, environmental aspects, native title and land rights in 15 jurisdictions.

The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) (as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450) are the principal enactments setting out the framework of mining law. They express the basic position that minerals in their natural state are owned by the State. They also outline the licensing scheme for mineral operations, the incidence of the various mineral rights and the powers of the principal regulatory institutions. The following pieces of subordinate legislation add detail in specific areas to the regime set out in the principal legislation: (a) Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2173); (b) Minerals and Mining (Support Services) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2174); (c) Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Settlement) Regulations (L.I. 2175); (d) Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2176); (e) Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177); and (f) Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182).

Environmental legislation, including that relating to forest protection, water bodies and water use, tax legislation, customary law relating to land tenure, the law of corporations, contract law and administrative law principles concerning the exercise of governmental power, are all relevant to the mining industry.

Pursuant to the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978), the Minerals Income Investment Fund (the Fund) was established with an expressed objective of, among other things, monetising the value of Government revenue from mining. The Fund is to be resourced through income generated from the countrys equity interest in mining companies, mineral royalties and other related income from mining operations. The provisions of Act 978 empower the Fund to create and hold equity interests in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in any jurisdiction, procure the listing of the SPV on reputable stock exchanges, assign or transfer rights to its sources of income and to grant security over its assets. The Government is reported to be engaged in negotiations with an entity called Agyapa Royalties Limited (Agyapa) in a proposed transaction in terms of which the Government would receive an upfront payment of monies in exchange for Agyapa acquiring rights to future royalties to be generated from certain identified companies in Ghana who have been granted mining leases.

The Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) introduced amendments to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), including that which seeks to prevent foreigners from providing mining support services to small-scale miners and imposes stiff punishment for the sale or purchase of minerals without a licence and for the facilitation of small-scale mining by foreigners. We understand further amendments are proposed to Act 703 which would reduce the duration of a development agreement with the Government from 15 to 5 years, introduce gender considerations into employment in the mining sector, and provide stiffer punishment for aiding foreigners to evade the restrictions on their involvement in small-scale mining. No bill has yet been published in respect of these proposals and until that is done, the legislative process, which includes the gazetting of such bill and its laying before Parliament to undergo consideration and three readings, would not have commenced.

The Chamber of Mines proposes to assist mineral refineries in the country to receive international accreditation so as to help market their products. The object is to reduce the reliance of mining companies in Ghana on foreign refineries and thereby save the country the costs of foreign exchange.

The rights required are: (a) a reconnaissance licence; and (b) a restricted reconnaissance licence to engage in reconnaissance in relation to an industrial mineral, i.e. basalt, clay, granite, gravel, gypsum, laterite, limestone, marble, rock, sand, sandstone, slate talc, salt and other minerals as the Minister may from time to time declare, by notice published in the Gazette, to be industrial minerals.

The rights required to conduct mining are: (a) a mining lease; (b) a restricted mining lease to engage in mining for an industrial mineral; and (c) a small-scale mining licence for the conduct of small-scale mining. The mining lease permits its holder to engage in reconnaissance and prospecting.

No, although there are different eligibility criteria for different rights. In particular, non-Ghanaians are prohibited from engaging in small-scale mining. The threshold for engaging in industrial mineral operations is higher for non-Ghanaians than for Ghanaians.

Foreign entities cannot directly hold mineral rights, though entities they incorporate in Ghana can hold mineral rights. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865) has minimum investment requirements for non-Ghanaians. Where the foreign investor has a Ghanaian partner, the foreign investor is required to contribute at least US$200,000 to the equity of the entity and the Ghanaian partner must hold not less than 10% of the equity. A foreign investor in a business that it solely owns is required under Act 865 to invest a minimum of US$500,000. The minimum capital requirement may be met in cash or capital goods relevant to the investment. A foreign investor cannot engage in operations relating to industrial minerals unless it commits in its proposed programme to invest at least US$10 million in the operations.

A person who intends to become the controller of an entity which directly or indirectly holds mineral rights is required to obtain a no objection notice from the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources before becoming such controller. A controller is defined to mean a person who, either alone or with an associate or associates, is entitled to exercise, or control the exercise of more than twenty per cent of the voting power at any general meeting of the mining company or of another company of which it is a subsidiary. The entity and the exiting shareholder are also required to notify the Minister, respectively, of the change in control of the company or of ceasing to be controller.

A small-scale mining licence may only be granted to a citizen of Ghana who is at least 18 years old, and is registered by the office of the Minerals Commission in an area designated as a small-scale mining area.

The State is entitled to 10% free carried interest in an entity engaged in mining. This does not preclude the Government from any other or further participation in mineral operations that may be agreed with the holder of the mineral.

Additionally, the Minister may, by notice in writing to a mining company, require the company to issue to the State a special share in the company for no consideration. The special share is meant to give the Government, inter alia, the power to veto decisions relating to the liquidation of the company or disposal of the whole or a material part of its assets. To the best of our knowledge, since this provision was first introduced, the special share has only been taken on one occasion in the context of the State reducing its interest in a company in which it previously held majority shares.

The Minerals and Mining Act requires a licence from the Minister for the sale, export or other disposal of a mineral. Under the Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2173), an application by a holder of a mining lease for a licence to export, sell or dispose of gold or other precious minerals produced by the holder must be accompanied by a refining contract and a sales and marketing agreement.

An application by a person other than a holder of a mining lease, to purchase and export, sell or dispose of gold or other precious minerals, requires the applicant to satisfy the Minister that the minerals will be refined or polished in Ghana or that only refined or polished minerals will be purchased for export, or that a percentage of the minerals will be supplied to local users. In practice, as there is very little refinery capacity in Ghana, this requirement is hardly enforced.

A transfer, assignment, mortgage, or encumbrance of a mineral right or any dealing in relation to a mineral right requires the prior written approval of the Minister. The approval should not be unreasonably withheld or given subject to unreasonable conditions. Further, the Minister is required to communicate a decision on the application within 30 days of receipt of the application; otherwise, the Minister, upon request from the applicant, must give reasons for failing to do so.

A reconnaissance, prospecting or mining right may be mortgaged or secured, subject to the approval of the Minister. If the mortgagor defaults and the mortgagee forecloses, the mortgagee acquires the mineral rights subject to the approval of the Minister.

Mineral rights may be held in undivided shares. However, given the requirement of local incorporation referred to in response to question 3.1 above, the general practice is for those jointly involved in the venture to be allotted shares in the corporate entity which holds the mineral rights.

A holder of a mineral right cannot explore for or mine a mineral that is not the subject of the mineral right. If the holder desires to explore for or mine any other mineral, the person must apply to the Minister to amend the right to include such other mineral.

A mineral right holder is only entitled to exercise rights in respect of the minerals to which its licence relates. To exercise rights over residue deposits (tailings), additional rights are required.

The holder of a mineral right is entitled to enter onto the land for the conduct of the mineral operations. However, it is required to exercise its rights subject to the surface rights of the owner or occupier of the land.

The holder of a mineral right is required to exercise the rights granted subject to the surface rights of the owner or occupier of the land. The owner or lawful occupier of land retains the right to graze livestock upon or to cultivate the surface of the land if the grazing or cultivation does not interfere with the mineral operations in the area.

The holder of a mineral right is also required to compensate the owner or lawful occupier for the disturbance of the surface rights of the owner or lawful occupier. The compensation may be monetary or by way of resettlement, the cost of which shall be borne by the mineral right holder. Where people have to be displaced, there is a constitutional obligation to resettle them.

Where land is required to secure the development or utilisation of a mineral resource, the President may acquire the land or authorise its occupation and use subject to the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation.

Act 703 also gives the Minister the power of pre-emption in respect of all minerals raised, won or obtained in Ghana. The exercise of this power is subject to the constitutional provisions regulating expropriation and to the terms of agreements entered into with mineral rights holders. In any case, that power has not, to the best of our knowledge, been exercised in more than 30 years.

The Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I. 1652) require that there be (a) a reclamation plan, and (b) a bond to secure implementation of the work plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A reconnaissance or prospecting licence requires the holder to comply with terms which typically include an obligation to rehabilitate the land. In respect of a mining lease, the holder is required, before closing a mine site, to satisfy the Chief Inspector of Mines that each source of potential pollution and component of the mining operation that is to be closed is designed to be stable in the long term.

The holder of a mining lease is required to: (a) ensure that discharge/emission of polluted water, air or dust does not occur from the closed mine site; (b) submit a mine closure plan to the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission for approval; and (c) within 12 months after the closure of the mine, rehabilitate mining areas which are no longer required for the mining operations.

In respect of mining, the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) prohibits the carrying out of any physical development without a permit granted by the District Planning Authority. A physical development is defined under Act 936 as carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations on, in, under or over land, or the material change in the existing use of land or building and includes sub-division of land, the disposal of waste on land including the discharge of effluent into a body of still or running water and the erection of advertisement or other hoarding.

In the standard mineral right agreement, the holder is prohibited from conducting any operations in a sacred area. It further requires the written consent of the Minister to conduct its operations: (a) within 100 metres of any forest reserve, river, stream, building, installation, reservoir or dam, public road, railway or area appropriated for a railway; (b) within 30 metres of a pylon; and (c) in an area occupied by a market, burial ground, cemetery or Government office, or situated within a town or village or set apart for, used, appropriated or dedicated to a public purpose.

In Ghana, land is mostly owned by individuals, extended families and communities presided over by chiefs who hold the land in trust for their members. These members are entitled to exercise surface rights over and appropriate portions of these lands in accordance with customary law. They must be compensated by the mineral rights holder for interference with their rights. The right to compensation includes compensation for: (a) deprivation of the use or particular use of the natural surface of the land or part of the land; (b) loss of or damage to property; (c) loss of earnings or sustenance suffered by the owner or lawful occupier of land under cultivation having due regard to the nature of their interest in the land; and (d) loss of expected income, depending on the nature of crops on the land and their life expectancy. No claim for compensation lies in respect of the value of a mineral.

Given the importance of the mining sector to the Ghanaian economy, mining was listed as an essential service and therefore exempted from the lockdown imposed by the Government of Ghana in the months of March and April 2020. Mining companies have therefore been able to operate during the lockdown, though they have had to implement additional health and safety controls.

The Minerals Commission is required to and does maintain a register of mineral rights in which it records applications, grants, variations and dealings in assignments, transfers, suspensions and cancellations of mineral rights. The register is open to public inspection on payment of a prescribed fee and members of the public may, upon request to the Commission and on payment of the prescribed fee, be provided a copy of the records.

Further, the interest in minerals conveyed by a grant is required to be stamped and registered within 21 days of being granted with either the Land Registry or the Land Title Registry (depending on the area in which the mineral right is located). Copies of the stamped and registered documents are required to be provided to the Minerals Commission.

The prerogative remedies known to the administrative law of common law jurisdictions are available under Ghanaian law. These are available to enforce constitutional duties of candour and fairness imposed on public officers.

Yes. Under the Constitution, 1992, every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land in Ghana, rivers, streams, water courses throughout Ghana, the exclusive economic zone and any area covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic of Ghana and is vested in the President who holds it on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.

Grants of rights to exploit minerals are subject to ratification by Parliament and have been held by the Supreme Court in the recent unreported case of The Republic v. High Court, General Jurisdiction (6), Accra; Ex Parte Attorney-General (Exton Cubic Group Ltd, Interested Party) [Civil Motion Number J5/40/2018] to be void and of no legal effect unless and until ratified by Parliament.

Ghana has signed and ratified investment treaties with China, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Generally, these provide protection to the investments of persons from the contracting parties.

Yes, these rules are provided under sections 77 to 86 of the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896). Act 896 treats income from mineral operations separately from other sources of income and imposes a mineral income tax at the rate of 35% on profits from mineral operations. In ascertaining the assessable income of a person from mineral operations, (a) each separate mineral operation is treated as an independent business, and (b) the tax liability for the business is required to be calculated independently for each year of assessment. For income tax purposes, a mineral operation pertaining to each mine and a mineral operation with a shared processing facility constitute separate mineral operations which are required to be taxed separately.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Directive on the Harmonisation of Guiding Principles and Policies in the Mining Sector prescribes a set of rules and guiding principles to Member States of the Economic Community of West African States. Further, the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, which is scheduled to the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) as amended by the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 905), exempts machinery, appliances and apparatus designed for use in mining and dredging from the payment of Value Added Tax on importation.

There is provision for the surrender (abandonment) of a mineral right whether in whole or in part. A holder of a mineral right who wishes to surrender the land subject to the mineral right is required to apply to the Minister for a certificate of surrender no later than two months before the date on which the holder wishes the surrender to take effect. A certificate will not be granted, inter alia, if the holder (a) is in default of its obligations, or (b) does not satisfy the Minister that it will surrender the area in a condition which is safe and accords with good mining practice.

In respect of an exploration or prospecting licence, the holder is required, prior to or at the expiration of the initial term, to surrender no less than half the number of blocks of the prospecting area, so long as a minimum of 125 blocks remain subject to the licence and the blocks form not more than three discrete areas, each consisting of (a) a single block, or (b) a number of blocks each having a side in common with at least one other block in that area. Relief may be granted either in whole or in part against this requirement if the holder of the prospecting licence satisfies the Minister that delay by a Government institution or agency in the issuance of permits or in carrying out a lawful activity resulted in delay by the holder in the discharge of an obligation under the prospecting licence. The period of the relief shall not exceed 12 months and shall be subject to such other conditions that the Minister thinks fit.

The State has a right to cancel or suspend a mineral right for the holders non-compliance with law or obligations under the agreement granting the mineral right. Prior to exercising a right to suspend or cancel a mineral right, the Minister is required to give notice to the holder requiring the holder to remedy the breach complained of within a reasonable period, not being less than 120 days in the case of a mining lease or restricted mining lease, or 60 days in the case of another mineral right. Where the breach cannot be remedied, the holder is required to show cause to the reasonable satisfaction of the Minister as to why the mineral right should not be suspended or cancelled.

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