There are limited laws specific to any of the Emirates regulating mining in the United Arab Emirates; the Federal Laws governing all mining and quarrying activities in the region as a whole. These regulations include:
- Federal Environment Law;
- Federal Cabinet Resolution Number 20 of 2008 (Quarries and Crushers Regulations);
- Federal Ministerial Resolution Number 492 of 2008 (Quarries and Crushers Environmental Guidelines);
- Federal Ministerial Resolution Number 110 of 2010 (Quarries and Crushers Regulations). When an entity within the UAE wishes to carry out mining activities within the region, such an object must obtain an environmental license from the relevant local authority. Concerning this license, there are specific guidelines to which these entities must comply. In addition to the instructions, the regulation also provides for the application of penalties in the event of any breach. The obligations provided for by the guidelines and the determination by specific circumstances and facts of each case, but some of these include:
- Article 15 of Federal Cabinet Resolution Number 20 of 2008, this piece of legislation states that any person or entity, by act or omission, causes damage to the environment; as a result of violating the provisions of this resolution shall have the responsibility to pay all necessary costs for the repairing or eliminating the damages and any consequential indemnities.
- Article 16 of Federal Cabinet Resolution Number 20 of 2008, this piece of legislation further clarifies the indemnification of the environmental damage as per Article 15 to include, injuries that affect the environment itself and prevent or reduce the lawful use thereof, temporarily or permanently, or impair its economic or aesthetic value;
- Federal Ministerial Resolution Number 110 of 2010, this piece of legislation provides for the quarry rehabilitation or restoration process. Article 13 of this Law provides that quarry operators must perform progressive improvement as they extract their sites. This provision entails that reconstruction shall be done sequentially within a reasonable time after extraction of quarry resources is complete.
- United Arab Emirates Labor Law In terms of this Law, Article 91 provides that an employer needs to provide the necessary safety measures to protect workers from the occupational hazards that come with their employment, this Article goes further to state that that employers must also protect employees against fire and other risks associated with the use of machinery and other work tools. This provision is relevant to the mining industry as there is a significant amount of dangerous machinery and used by employees in the fulfillment of their employment responsibilities
As the removal of one area of the pit or quarry, completion of rehabilitation must be in the areas where the quarry reserves have been stopped or exhausted. It further provides how such reconstruction is beneficial:
- It reduces the open spaces within a pit/quarry;
- It reduces potential soil erosion; and
- It reduces double-handling or soil/waste materials. Ministerial Order 110 of 2010 In Article 3 of the
GUIDELINES FOR DRILLING, QUARRY BLASTING, MATERIAL HANDLING, AND HAULING IN SITE
Ministerial Order 110 of 2010 provides the guidelines for quarrying, this provision offers guidelines for drilling, quarry blasting, material handling, and hauling in site. Article 5 of the Order provides the general requirements. This provision states that all mining/quarry operators must submit the production and operations data to the competent local authority and the technical division of the ministry of environment and water. In addition to the above mentioned, the operators must submit detailed maps and drawings of the quarry and crusher areas showing:
- The locations of the existing or abandoned quarry areas;
- The position of crushing plant
- 3D contour maps; I
- Place for ancillary or additional developments.’
- Material storage yards;
- In site roads and dwellings; and
- The residential areas.
Environmental Control and Monitoring Article for Mines/Quarries
Environmental Control and Monitoring Article 6 of the Order provides that all mines/quarries will install at least one stationary air quality monitor for PM10 and TSP measurements. The data are to be presented to the competent local authority and the technical division of the ministry of environment and water every three months. The authorities will also inspect the monitoring equipment from time to time. This Article goes further to provide that the competent authorities from the relevant ministries have the power to visit the sites to assess and monitor the emissions on a regular basis. The provision goes further to state that all sites will plant sufficient trees in the area to improve the landscape and ecology. In addition to the planting of trees, the operators must provide for the construction of a noise barrier (minimum of 15 feet high) along residential regions falling less than 2km from the site. All mine/quarry operators should obtain an environmental compliance certification (ECC) from the technical division of the ministry of environment and water. This certification will be mandatory for renewal of all permits and licenses issued by the local and federal competent authorities. The relevant authorities will carry out site inspections before releasing the ECC, and renovation of such certification must be annual. Waste Management Article 7 of the order states that proper care should be taken to dispose of all waste products from mining operations. The utilization of natural waste products for mine restoration can be work at a later stage, and mining
Federal Environmental Agency (FEA)
The mining laws in the UAE are still in the planning phase till then the business of mining is regulated by the Federal Environment Agency (FEA). FEA is responsible for considering the concept of sustainable development while structuring the urban development policies
Export Control Executive Office (ECEO)
Export Control Executive office (ECEO) regulates and governs the import and export of mined products in the GGC countries. Any import or export of mining activities such as steel, diamond, gold, chromite, etc. requires customs clearance from the customs office which is designated by the Minister at each seaport, land, port and airport or wherever there is a branch office of administration authorized to complete all or some of the customs procedures. The GCC Common Customs Law 2002 regulates custom procedures, and tariff and Article 9 of the Common Customs Tariff governs tax applied on import and export of goods in GCC countries. The shipping and import of products in the UAE are regulated by the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) which was further amended by the Council of Ministers and Federal Supreme Council. On 8 January 2003 the revised Federal Decree Law Number 1 of 2003 was issued by H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, then the president of UAE in the establishment of Federal Customs Authority (FCA). The amendment of FCA complies with GCC Common Customs Law
- ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATION (ECC) All quarry operators should obtain an environmental compliance certification (ECC) from the technical division of the ministry of environment & water (MOEWTD). This will be mandatory for renewal of all licenses and permits issued by the local and federal competent authorities. MOEW-TD will carry out necessary inspections at the quarry site before issuing the ECC. Further details can be obtained from MOEW website. The ECC should be renewed annually.