The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 (“the Act”) was passed into law on March 16, 2007 to repeal the Minerals and Mining Act, No. 34 of 1999 for the purposes of regulating the exploration and exploitation of solid materials in Nigeria.
Company Registration Laws
The very first provision to be aware of is the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020. To provide commercial services (including e-commerce), the Corporate Affairs Commission requires that such persons register the entity under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. The type business structure chosen will depend on size, financial capacity, etc.S.18 of the new CAMA now makes it possible to establish a private company with only one member or shareholder.
The federal government, through the establishment of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) released guidelines for pioneer status incentives, which include, among other things:
- A three-year tax holiday from the initial stage
- Ten per cent withholding tax would not be deducted from dividends paid to company shareholders
One of the provisions in the Finance Bill 2019 is that firms with an annual turnover of less than ₦25 million ($68,500) do not have to pay CIT as required by the federal government.
Acquisition and Transfer Laws
The NOTAP Act Cap N62 Laws of the Federation 2007 as well as the Revised Guidelines made thereunder provide the regulatory framework for the regulation of transfer of technology and/or expertise between offshore service providers and Nigerian companies.NOTAP registers technology transfer agreement in the following sectors:
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Finance & Insurance
- Hotels and Restaurant
- Oil and Gas
- Civil Construction
- Transport & Logistics
- Power and Energy
- Mining & Quarry
This Act established the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), which facilitates the flow of foreign technology into Nigeria. NOTAP also registers all contracts for the transfer of technology to Nigerian partners and seeks to promote locally generated technologies.
The NOTAP Act specifies the types of agreements that must be registered with NOTAP. These include the use of trademarks, the right to use patented inventions, and the supply of technical expertise, engineering and machinery.
Minerals Prospecting Mining and Quarrying
1. Ownership and Control of Minerals
The Act vests control of all properties and minerals in Nigeria in the State and prohibits unauthorised exploration or exploitation of minerals. All lands in which minerals have been found in commercial quantities shall from the commencement of the Act be acquired by the Federal Government in accordance with the Land Use Act. Property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with provisions of the Act.
The Act further provides that the use of land for mining operations shall have a priority over other uses of land and be considered (for the purposes of access, use and occupation of land for mining operations) as constituting an overriding public interest within the meaning of the Land Use Act. In the event that a mining lease, a small scale mining lease or a quarry lease is granted over land subject to an existing and valid statutory or customary right of occupancy, the Governor of the state within which such rights are granted shall within sixty days of such grant or declaration revoke such right of occupancy in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of the Land Use Act.
2. Status of Holders of Mineral Titles granted under the Repealed Act
Any person who was the holder of a right or lease or license under the Repealed Act shall be deemed to have become, on the appointed date, the holder of an interim right, lease or license. During the interim period, the holder of an interim right, lease or license is authorized to carry on the operations which he was authorized to carry on immediately before the appointed date under the right, lease or license of which he was the holder and shall enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same liabilities as if the Repealed Act were still in force.
3. The Administration of the Act
The Minister, amongst other things, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the orderly and sustainable development of Nigerian’s mineral resources, creating an enabling environment for private investors, both foreign and domestic by providing adequate infrastructure for mining activities and also identifying areas where Government intervention is desirable in achieving policy goals in mineral resources development. The Act also provides for the establishment of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO). which shall be responsible for the administration of mineral titles and the maintenance of the cadastral registers.
The Minister is empowered by the Act to by regulation determine areas eligible for the grant of an exploration or mining lease based on a competitive bidding process. The MCO shall collect a fee for processing of applications for mineral titles and an annual service fee established at a fixed rate per square cadastral unit for administrative and management services rendered by the Cadastre. A mineral title shall become liable to revocation where the holder fails to pay the prescribed fees.
Other departments in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) established by the Minister for the proper administration of the Act include the Mines Inspectorate Department(MID) and the Mines Environmental Compliance Department (MECD) .The Minister may also by notification in the Gazette, delegate to any department or officer of the Ministry the exercise or performance of any function conferred on him under the Act with the exception of his function to make regulations.
Applying for Licenses
The Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office established by law is the sole agency responsible for the administration of mineral titles and the maintenance of Cadastral Registers for Nigeria. The Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office is empowered by the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 to;
- Consider applications for mineral titles and permits, issue, suspend and upon written approval of the Minister, revoke any mineral title;
- Receive and dispose of applications for the transfer, renewal, modification, relinquishment of mineral titles or extension of areas;
- Maintain a chronological record of all applications for mineral titles in a Priority Register which is to be specifically used to ascertain the priority and registration of applications for exclusive rights or free areas;
- Maintain a general register which is to be used for all other types of applications where registration of the priority is not required;
- Undertake such other activities reasonably necessary for the purpose of carrying out its duties and responsibilities under the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011.
- Types of Mining Titles In line with section 46 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011, the right to search for, or exploit minerals in Nigeria, is governed by one of the following mineral titles:
Water Use Permit
Exploration License (Processing time 30 days)
- Duly completed application forms
- Description of the work area and the activities to be carried out Attestation of non-conviction of criminal offences under the Act
- Receipt of payment of the processing fee
- Evidence of technical competence (section 54 of the NMMA, 2007).
- Evidence of financial capability (section 54 of the NMMA, 2007),
- Exploration Licence (Section 48 and 59 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011.)
The Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, on receipt of a valid application, is obliged by law to grant and issue an Exploration License within 30 days. A license will not be granted over any land that is subject of an existing Exploration License, Mining Lease, Small Scale Mining Lease, Quarry Lease or closed to prospecting/mining activity (e.g. Forest reserves, military areas, government development areas, national heritage area, etc.) and renewable for a further period of 2 terms two years each, provided that the titleholder has complied with minimum work commitment/programme and all other legal requirements. The area of land covered by an Exploration License shall not exceed 200Km2 i.e. 1000 CUs.
Requirements for Application
- Duly completed application forms
- Minimum work programme (Detailed) (With COMEG stamp signature)
- Evidence of financial capabilities (section 54 of the NMMA, 2007)
- Evidence of technical competence (section 54 of the NMMA, 2007)
- Irrevocable Consent from landowners/land occupiers – (section 100 of the NMMA, 2007)
- Attestation of non-conviction of criminal offences under the Act Certified true copy of the certificate of incorporation
- Copy of Form CO2 and CO7
- Evidence of payment of processing fees and rents Indicate Minerals to be explored (section 64 of the NMMA, 2007)
Pre-Development conditions: (Post-grant Conditions)
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (Section 119 of the NMMA, 2007)
Compensation Closure plan/rehabilitation plan Reports from state bodies/MIREMCO.
Mining Lease (Section 50, 65 and 66 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011.)
The Mining Cadastre Office, on receipt of a valid application, may grant and issue a Mining Lease within 45 days of the application. The duration of a Mining Lease is 25 years, renewable every 24 years, provided that the holder has complied with the minimum work programme and all other legal and regulatory requirements. The 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).
Requirements for Application:
- Duly Completed application forms
- Pre-Feasibility Report (with COMEG seal and signature)
- Prospecting plan/reserve estimation Extant Exploration licence
- Evidence of Financial capability
- Evidence of technical competence
- Irrevocable consent from the landowner(s)/land occupier(s)
- Attestation of non-conviction of criminal offences under the Act
- Evidence of Payment of processing fee
- A certified true copy of the certificate of incorporation, Copy of CO2 and CO7,
- Mineral(s) to be exploited (section 64), Area specified to be Surveyed in accordance with provisions of Survey Co-ordination Act (section79), (Survey plan to be submitted)
- Notice to the landowner(s) (private or state land) with a response on the rate to be paid, (section 102).
Pre-Development conditions (Post-grant)
PROCESSING TIME 45 DAYS
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – (section 119),
Community Development Agreement (CDA) (section 116) A copy to be submitted to MCO and all relevant departments in the Ministry
Compensation – (section 107) Mine Closure plan/Rehabilitation plan – (section 61),
Reports from state bodies/MIREMCO.
Quarry Lease: (Section 51 and 77 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011).
The Mining Cadastre Office, on receipt of a valid application, shall grant and issue to the applicant a Quarry Lease within 45 days. The duration of a Quarry Lease shall not exceed five (5) years and may be renewed every five years as required, provided the renewal application is made within (3) months before the expiration of the lease. The area shall not exceed 5Km2. (25CUs).
- Requirement for Application
- Duly completed application forms
- Pre-Feasibility Report (with COMEG seal & signature)
- Evidence of Financial capabilities (section 54 of the NMMA)
- Evidence of Technical competence of Technical Person(s) (Section 54 of NMMA, 2007)
- Irrevocable Consent from the landowner(s)/land Occupier(s)-(section 100 of the NMMA, 2007),
- Attestation of no conviction of a criminal offence under the Act (section 53 of the NMMA, 2007)
- Certified True Copy of Certificate of Incorporation, Copy of Form CO2 and CO7
- Evidence of payment of processing fees, Indicate Minerals to be Exploited
- The area specified to be surveyed in accordance with the Coordination Act (section 79 of the NMMA, 2007) (Survey plan to be submitted)
- Notice to the landowner(s) (private or state land) with a response on rate to be paid – (section 102 of the NMMA)
- Indicate Mineral(s) to be exploited (section 64 of the NMMA, 2007)
Pre-Development conditions (Post-Grant):
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – (section 119)
Community Development Agreement (CDA) (Section 116)
Compensation – (Section 107), Submit Mine closure plan/rehabilitation plan- (section 61)
Reports from state bodies/MIREMCO.
Application forms can be obtained from the Mining Cadastre Offices or downloaded from the agency’s website: www.miningcadastre.gov.ng Submit completed application form (in 3 copies) along with the necessary documents (as specified in the application form) and processing fees to the MCO in line with the provision of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007. Submitted application shall be assigned with an identifying code and registered with date, hour and minute in the priority register duly signed and a copy to be given to the applicant as an acknowledgement of the application.
Upon submission and receipt of an application for a Mineral title, MCO shall notify landowner(s)/occupier(s) in order to obtain irrevocable consent to be submitted back to MCO within 7 days. Incomplete or wrongly completed applications shall be rejected without a refund or processing fee. Where an application requires minor amendments (not coordinates), the applicant shall be duly informed to effect the necessary corrections within a period of 5 working days; and if no response within the specified period, the application shall be rejected without any refund. After, the MCO shall input spatial and non-spatial data of the application into its system.
The application is further evaluated and recommended If granted a license/permit, the applicant shall be informed and be given 2 weeks within which to pay the Annual Service Fee, a pre-requisite among other obligations before collection of the license/permit or lease. If the applicant fails to pay the Annual Service Fees within fourteen (14) days after collection of the notification of grant, the grant shall automatically be withdrawn.
1. Exploration License:
This License is granted for the duration of three years, renewable for further two periods of two years each provided that the holder has complied with his minimum work obligation commitments and other relevant provisions of the Act. It is granted over land area not exceeding 200 square kilometers which is not already subject to an existing exploration license, mining lease, small scale mining lease or quarry lease and provides an exclusive right to its holder to conduct exploration activities upon the land within the area of his license including but not limited to the right to explore for all mineral resources and to carry out the operations and work necessary for the achievement of this objective, to take specimens and samples within specified limits for the purpose of analysis and conducting bulk sampling and trial processing for determining mining potential.
4. Small Scale Mining Lease:
A Small Scale Mining Lease covers an area not exceeding 3 square kilometers and requires its holders to carry out effective rehabilitation of the mined out areas to the satisfaction of the MECD and pay prescribed fees.
4. Mining Lease:
This is an exclusive permit granted in respect of an area not exceeding fifty (50) square kilometers, which is within an Exploration License Area or a Small Scale Mining Area except to the holder of the Exploration License or Small Scale Mining not leased covering such area. The Lease confers upon the holder the right to, among other things, use, occupy and carry out Mineral Exploitation within the Mining Lease Area, and market, sell, export or otherwise dispose of the mineral products resulting from the Mining Operations.
5. Quarrying Lease
A Quarrying Lease is granted in respect of any area of land not exceeding 5 hectares and unless previously revoked or otherwise determined, remains in force for a period of five years or less from the date of the grant of the lease and shall then expire unless renewed. The holder is authorized to amongst other things, carry out quarry operations on the land within the area of the lease, remove and dispose of any quarriable minerals specified in the lease and do all such things as specified in the Act which may be necessary or convenient for the carrying out of its quarrying operations.
6. Water Use Permit
A Water Use Permit confers on its holder, the right to obtain and use water for its exploration and mining operations.