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Part A: General Topics | 19. Records and Reporting Requirements

Mining laws generally impose recordkeeping and reporting requirements on mining rights holders. However, many mining laws are either silent or lax with respect to recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the regulating authority.

Recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed on the regulating authority by legislation can serve a variety of important purposes, such as:

  • ensuring public access to information about the existence, nature, location and ownership of mineral rights;
  • ensuring appropriate use and protection of confidentiality of competitive information provided by mineral right holders;
  • providing a record for administrative or judicial review of decisions affecting mineral rights or applications for such rights;
  • providing a record of inspection results for follow-up and enforcement purposes;
  • providing increasingly detailed geological, environmental, production, trade and fiscal revenue information about the country’s natural resource endowment and industries, for purposes of investment promotion, policy-making and policy evaluation;
  • promoting transparency and accountability; and
  • enabling legislative oversight of the administration of natural resources.

If such requirements are left to the regulations, there is little basis for legislative oversight of the implementation of the mining law. In some mining laws of the Africa region, recordkeeping requirements are found in articles setting forth the duties of certain officials or institutions or in articles describing application and mining right registration procedures. Confidentiality requirements for reports submitted by mining rights holders are also usually set forth in separate articles, as noted in topic 11.

Reporting requirements with respect to geological information and production statistics are sometimes found in articles stating the duties and responsibilities of key departments of the regulating authority. Consideration ought to be given to inclusion in the mining law of a more comprehensive statement of the recordkeeping and reporting requirements applicable to the regulating authority, in order to promote transparency, knowledge base enhancement, accountability and better public understanding of the contributions and challenges of the sector.

19. Example 1:

Article [_] Public access and archiving:

(1) The registries of mining rights applications, issuances, transactions and withdrawals or other extinctions shall be open to inspection by the public during regular business hours or online. Copies shall be made available upon request for a fee to cover the reasonable cost of reproduction.

(2) All entries in the registries of mining rights applications, issuances, transactions and withdrawals or other extinctions shall be signed by the agent who made the entry. The entries made on each day shall be reviewed by the supervisor of the office in which the entries are made, who shall sign the registry for that day. Any corrections shall require the signature of the [Regulating Authority].

(3) All registries of mining rights applications, issuances, transactions and withdrawals or other extinctions shall be archived no less often than on an annual basis, in chronological order, and shall be maintained indefinitely in a secure environment in either hard copy or electronic format.

(4) The administrative services in charge of geology, mining, environmental permitting of mineral activities and inspection of mineral activities shall maintain copies of all studies, reviews, evaluations, data compilations, investigations, inspections and reports, organized within each service by topic and chronological order. Such records shall be archived annually and maintained indefinitely in a secure environment in either hard copy or electronic format. Subject to confidentiality requirements, such records shall be subject to disclosure to the committees of the [National Legislative Authority] with responsibility for oversight of mineral activities and to judicial or arbitration tribunals exercising jurisdiction over a relevant dispute, upon formal request.

Article [_] Reporting

(1) The [Regulating Authority] shall prepare each year a report on the activity of the mineral resource sector during the preceding year, including the following: a description of the major positive and negative developments in the sector during the year; the number of each type of mining right in existence at the beginning and the end of the year; the geographical areas covered by mining rights for mines and quarries, by mining rights, by artisanal mining authorizations or sites, and by quarrying licences; a description of significant geological information developed (subject to confidentiality requirements); statistics of production, sales and royalty receipts for each mineral commodity, by type of mining right or authorization; statistics of employment by type of mining right and position, including average wages or salaries; statistics on health, safety and the efficacy of environmental protection measures in the sector; administrative fee income per type; and allocation or disposition of royalty and fee income.

(2) This report shall be delivered to the commissions of each chamber of the [National Legislative Authority] no later than [date] of each year and shall be posted on the website of the [Regulating Authority] for public review.

Article [_] Publication

The [Regulating Authority] shall publish on its website: all mineral exploration and/or mining contracts entered into by the [State] or state-owned enterprises; summaries of all preliminary and final environmental impact assessments or studies for mineral projects; the [Regulating Authority]’s annual report on the sector; and annual statistical summaries of exploration and mining results, royalties and fees charged and received.

Annotation

This is an example of a record keeping and reporting requirement that seeks to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Free public access to information as to the location, nature and ownership of all mining rights;
  • Responsibility of officials for the accuracy and truth of information recorded in all mining rights and transaction registries, with safeguards against manipulation;
  • Indefinite archiving of all internal reports such that they are available for review in formal legislative and judicial or arbitral proceedings (for easy implementation, such archiving should probably better be maintained electronically);
  • Annual legislative oversight of the performance of the minerals sector; and
  • Transparency and public awareness of mineral sector performance and contracts.
These requirements could be either expanded or made more general in nature.

19. Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) The [Regulating Authority] shall maintain records of all mineral concessions issued under this [Act][Code][Law] in sufficient detail [including the following]:—

(a) the name of the holder of the mineral concession;

(b) the area subject to the mineral concession;

(c) the date of issue and duration of the mineral concession; and

(d) the mineral for which the concession is granted.

(2) Records maintained under subsection (1) shall be open to inspection by members of the public during normal Government office hours, and members of the public shall be permitted to take copies thereof.

Annotation

Drawn from Botswana’s mining law (1999), this example requires the regulating authority to collect and make available to the public information on mineral rights granted under the law. It is also drafted to enable the regulating authority to collect other relevant data such as records of transactions involving mineral rights. Unlike example 1 which provides significant detail of record keeping requirements, this example allows for a concise provision which may be interpreted to require any information concerning a mineral concession when needed. Also unlike example 1, the access to information element is stronger as there seems to be no costs associated with public inspection of records and obtaining of copies of materials of interest.