The grant of a Mining Lease by a prospective investor is sequel to the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development(MMSD) under the Mining Cadastre Office approving same. It is also very instructive to note that applications for mining lease in Nigeria must strictly comply and conform with requirements and procedures under the laws that regulate the sector, which essentially is the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2011 and the Nigeria Mineral and Mining Regulation 2011.
Under the Act, Section 56 stipulates that any qualified person may submit an application if same proceeds from an exploration License. Section 57 of the Act went on to provide for the requirements and procedure for a grant of mining lease which is summed up that a grant of a Mining License to a prospective company is subject to proof of economic reserve of the mineral commodity for which a concession is sought. The procedure involves;
Requirements for grant of mining lease in Nigeria are as follows:
Section 60 of the Act stipulates that the duration of a Mining Lease is 25 years, which is subject to renewal, provided that the holder has complied with minimum work programme and all other legal and regulatory requirements for mining in Nigeria. The mining lease area shall be determined in relation to the ore body as defined in the feasibility study, in addition to an area reasonably required for the working of the deposit, not exceeding 50Km2 i.e. 250 CUs.’’
However, mining lease must not be confused to various mining licenses applicable in the mining sector in Nigeria. Any investor or individual who intends to trade in Nigerian’s mining sector by merely purchasing mineral resources for the purpose of exportation or industrial use will only be required to obtain mining license such as Possess or Purchase License or Mineral Buying Centre License or Mineral Export Permit.
Finally, the mining sector has continued to emerge in the Nigerian economy in recent times, especially where the government is making enabling policies and efforts to diversify the economy. The requirements for obtaining mining lease in Nigeria and other requisite licenses maybe cumbersome, but engaging a professional, such as legal any practitioner that has the knowledge of the enabling Act with experience in processing mining leases or licenses could be of a great assistance in expediting and simplifying the process.
Written by Mubarak Abdullahi, an Associate at Resolution Law Firm, Nigeria