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Part D: Environment - 38. Environment | 38.3 Discovery of Archaeological Objects

This language is often used to ensure that any archaeological objects that are discovered during the course of mining activities are reported, catalogued, and protected and preserved.

Some nations have separate laws protecting cultural, historic, and/or archaeological objects. For these countries, a provision referencing the appropriate law or code and confirming its applicability to mining activities may be appropriate. If no such law exists, a more robust provision should be included in the Mining Code to define what constitutes an archaeological object and the steps that must be taken by the operator if such an object is discovered during mining activities.

38.3. Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) Declaration of Archaeological Indications: The holder of a mineral right must inform the local administrative authority and the [Regulating Authority in charge of Culture, Arts and Museums], of the discovery of archaeological indications if the exploration or mining/exploitation works reveal the existence thereof.

(2) Discovery of Elements of the National Cultural Heritage: The holder is prohibited from moving the objects which are contained in the national cultural heritage list, be they movables or other items. In this case, the license holder must inform the local administrative authority and [Regulating Authority in charge of Culture, Arts and Museums] of this fact in writing, and without delay. The holder must remove, secure and keep these elements of [national cultural heritage] safe, as applicable, at the cost and on behalf of [Country] if the local administrative authority and [Regulating Authority in charge of Culture, Arts and Museums] concerned do not remove them within a period of sixty days following notification of the discovery.

Annotation

Drawn from DRC’s mining law (2002), this provision requires notification of the appropriate local agency regarding the discovery of cultural resources, and requires that the objects be kept safe for preservation. This obligation should apply to all types of licenses.

38.3. Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) The holder of mineral rights should, if it is the case, adopt the necessary measures in order to preserve geosites, geologic heritage and archaeological finds.

(2) The mineral rights holder must request an authorization from the competent [Regulating Authority] for the removal of geosites, geologic heritage and archaeological finds.

Annotation

Drawn from Mozambique’s mining law (2014), this provision requires authorization to remove any objects discovered during the course of mining activities. This language could be strengthened and clarified to state the processes and measures that should be adopted to preserve archaeological finds; for example, maintaining a certain distance between mining activities and archaeological or historic objects. This language could also be linked to any other applicable cultural heritage laws to assist in determining whether a found object is in fact an archaeological find, and to clarify who makes that determination. This obligation should apply to all types of licenses.