Key laws that regulate Mining and other crucial requirements
In February 2019, the government issued the new Law of Mineral Wealth. The New Mining Law recognizes the Public Authority for Mining (“PAM” or “Authority”) as the competent authority for mining activities. Article 2 of the New Mining Law states:
“Subject to the provisions of the Economic Zone of Duqm Law, the Authority shall without exception, conclude concession agreements, issue licences related to the exploration, excavation and utilization of raw materials, or carry out any activity related thereto…. The Authority also regulates the process of exploration, excavation and utilization of raw materials and exercises control and supervision over everything related thereto to ensure its preservation and good utilization.…”
- To perform its functions, the PAM is granted a wide range of powers under the New Mining Law which include:
- expropriation of
- approving exports of raw materials.
- inspection rights and right to access sites and obtain samples; and
- revocation of licences under certain circumstances such as:
- delay in commencement of works by
- suspension of works by
- delay in payment of fees,
- failure by licensee to provide
- obstruction by licensee of employees of
- violation of terms of licence.
- engaging in unauthorized activities.
- not maintaining books and records by licensee; and
- change of status of licensee (legal form, change of shareholders, merger, )
- Under the New Mining Law, the licence periods for exploration and excavation shall be one year, renewable but not exceeding three years, whereas the licence period for utilisation/exploitation is five years (renewable). The period for concession agreements is between 20 and 30
- The New Mining Law also sets out some parameters in terms of royalty and rent payments, such as:
- financial guarantee of not less than 1% of the value of the cost of the
- annual rental value of not less than 5% of the total production of the raw material used by the licensee; and
- payment of not less than 1% of the total annual production of raw materials for the development of the local
The main statutes governing mining activities in Mali are
- Ordinance 2019-022/P-RM dated 27 September 2019 (the Mining Code) and its implementing decree. However, to date, the implementing decree of the Mining Code has not been adopted and the mining legislation was last reviewed in September 2019.
- the implementing decree of the Mining Code. However, to date, this has not yet been adopted;
- Law 01-020 dated 30 May 2001 governing pollution and environmental damages (the Environmental Code) and its implementing decrees, such as Decree 03-594 governing environmental impact assessments;
- Ordinance 00-027 dated 22 March 2000, amended by Law 002-008 dated 12 February 2002, Law 2012-001 dated 10 February 2012 and Law 2016-025 dated 14 June 2016 and its implementing decrees;
- the Labour Code; and
- the General Tax Code.
- the uniform acts adopted by the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa, of which Mali is a member state; and
- the West African Economic and Monetary Union Foreign Exchange Regulation (ie, Regulation 09/2010/CM/UEMOA).
- Following the enactment of the new Mining Code, the relevant authorities in charge of the mining sector plan to establish new fees and charges that may be incurred in obtaining a licence and to specify them in the implementing decree. However, this new decree has not yet been adopted and all licence applications have been suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The following bodies are responsible for enforcing the applicable mining laws and regulations:
- The Ministry of Mines, Mali
- The Direction Nationale de la Géologie et des Mines (DNGM), the regulatory authority of the mining sector.
In regulating the mining sector – and particularly since the adoption of the Mining Code – the regulator’s general approach is to take into account both the mining operator’s interests and the impact of the mining activities on the national economy.
Any type of mineral may be covered by a prospecting authorisation or research permit.
Exploration authorization: The following requirements must be satisfied:
- proof of the necessary technical and financial capacity to carry out the exploration activities;
- presentation of a minimum work programme; and
- Confirmation that the relevant substances are not covered by an existing authorisation in the same requested area.
Exploration authorization and research permit: An application letter is submitted to the Ministry of Mines or the Direction Nationale de la Géologie et des Mines (DNGM). The letter must contain details of:
- the identity of the applicant;
- the minerals for which the authorization or permit is sought; and
- the surface/size of the mining area that is requested.
It must be accompanied by the following documents, among others:
- proof that the applicant has the necessary technical and financial capacity to carry out the mining activities;
- a detailed work programme with the allocated budget;
- a certificate of solvency;
Research permits: These are assigned on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. The following requirements must be satisfied:
- proof of the necessary technical and financial capacity to carry out the exploration activities and respond to environmental, health, safety and hygiene obligations; and
- presentation of a minimum work commitment setting out the programme and the budget allocated to the proposed research work.
The following procedure and required documentation are still subject to the provisions of the implementing decree of the Mining Code, which as yet has not been adopted.
Exploitation permit: An application letter is submitted to the Ministry of Mines and the DNGM. The letter must contain information on the identity and address of the applicant.
It must be accompanied by the following documents, among others:
- Proof that the applicant has the necessary technical and financial capacity to carry out the mining activities;
- Feasibility study of the targeted minerals;
- Copy of the environmental permit, based on an environmental and social impact assessment of the project;
- Copy of the environmental and social management plan;
- Copy of the closure and rehabilitation plan;
- Copy of the community development plan;
- Certificate of solvency;
- Topographical map (scale of at least 1/200,000) showing the area requested and outlining its limits; and
- Power of attorney of the individual who signed the application letter.
The procedure generally takes three months from submission of the required documentation, although this may be subject to administrative delay.
A large-scale exploitation permit is granted by decree of the prime minister, and other exploitation permits by order of the minister of mines upon a favorable opinion of the DNGM
The following key requirements must be met when applying for an exploitation permit:
- Confirmation that the operator has the financial and technical capacity to carry out the exploitation activities and meet its environmental, health, safety and hygiene obligations;
- Confirmation that the operator is not involved in fraud, money laundering, corruption or any infringement of environmental, social or safety rules; and
- Confirmation of the operator’s solvency.
- An artisanal mining permit is issued for a period of three years, which is renewable for further three-year periods.
- A semi-mechanised exploitation permit is issued for a maximum period of three years, which is renewable for further periods of the same duration until depletion of the mining deposit.
- A small-scale exploitation permit is issued for a period of four years, which is renewable for further periods of the same duration until depletion of the mining deposit.
- A large-scale exploitation permit is issued for a maximum period of 12 years from the signature date of the issuing decrees. It is renewable for a consecutive period of 10 years for each renewal until depletion of the mineral deposit.
Broadly, the renewal process involves the submission of an application letter to the minister of mines or the Direction Nationale de la Géologie et des Mines (DNGM) one year before the expiry of the permit, along with payment of the renewal fees.
The above requirements for renewal are still subject to the provisions of the implementing decree of the Mining Code, which has not yet been adopted. The above information is based on a previous process (ie, which applied before the adoption of the Mining Code).
- a topographical map (scale of at least 1/200,000) showing the area requested and outlining its limits; and
- a power of attorney for the individual who signs the application letter.
The procedure generally takes 30 days from submission of the required documentation, although this may be subject to administrative delay.
An exploration authorization is issued by the DNGM, whereas a research permit is granted by order of the minister of mines.
Step by Step process of how to acquire the license
- Use the My CR Licenses e-service to apply for the license
- Filing the application
- Paying the fees
- It will be reviewed, and you will be notified once your license is activated
Exploration authorisation: An exploration authorisation grants the operator an exclusive exploration right over all minerals within the mining area attributed to the operator.
An operator’s obligations under an exploration authorisation include the provision to the DNGM of a report on the works carried out and the results within one month of the expiry of the authorisation.
Research permit: The rights of an operator under a research permit are as follows:
- an exclusive prospection, exploration and research right over groups of minerals within the mining area attributed to the operator and the right to dispose of minerals extracted for analysis;
- the right to extend the attributed permit in case of discovery of minerals which are not in the same groups as those attributed to the operator under the permit; and
- the right to transfer the permit, subject to notification of the Ministry of Mines.
The obligations of an operator under a research permit are as follows:
- to provide the DGMG with an annual activity report summarising the research or exploitation activities undertaken that year. This report must include information on the impact of the activities on the environment and on any restoration or rehabilitation and securing of the mining site;
- to inform the competent authority in charge of national heritage in case its activities affect any related sites or assets; and
- to pay the corresponding surface royalties.
The ownership of mining rights is determined by the type of permit held. There are numerous types of operating and exploitation licences in Mali, as follows:
- the artisanal exploitation permit;
- the semi-mechanised exploitation permit;
- the small-scale exploitation permit; and
- the large-scale exploitation permit.