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Part B: Mineral Rights - Part B-1: Mineral Licences - Prospecting/Reconnaissance - 24. Prospecting/Reconnaissance Licencing | 24.14 Specific Violations and Penalties

Reconnaissance-type prospecting licences and their holders can be subject to applicable general violations and penalties, and may also be subject to specific violations and penalties as deemed appropriate. Specific violations usually consist of engaging in prospecting/reconnaissance activities outside of the licenced area, engaging in exploration or exploitation activities not authorized by the prospecting/reconnaissance licence, and unauthorized removal or sale of minerals from the licence area. It is essential that the reconnaissance-type prospecting activity authorized by the licence be carefully defined to distinguish it from exploration under an exploration licence.

24.14 Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) The following offences shall be subject to a fine of [amount] to [amount] and a prison sentence of between eleven days and two years, or only one of these two penalties:

(a) those who analyse samples outside of the [Country] without prior authorisation from the Mining Division.

Article [_]

(1) The following offences shall be subject to a fine of [amount] to [amount] and a prison sentence of between one month and three years, or only one of these two penalties:

(a) conducting mining or prospecting activities in the absence of an appropriate mining right;

(b) those who, within the meaning of the provisions of the Criminal Code, provide aid or assistance to illegal prospectors or operators.

(2) In addition, mineral substances which are extracted illegally, as well as the means, items and instruments which contributed to offences 1) and 2) above shall be seized by and forfeited to the State.

(3) Those who have not carried out the work in accordance with Article [_] (on measures relating to preserving public health and safety, and those relating to respecting the features of the surrounding environment) above before the relevant mining right comes to an end; and

(4) Holders of mining rights who do not, within the prescribed time periods, comply with the instructions of the [the regulatory authority] relating to the measures provided for in Article [_] (on obligations relating to public health and safety, nature conservation, and the preservation of transportation routes, the sturdiness of buildings, and the use, output or quality of water of any kind) above.

Annotation

Drawn from Mali’s mining law (2012), these provisions include violations and penalties that would be specific to reconnaissance-type prospecting, although not necessarily exclusive to that type of activity:

  1. sending samples for analysis outside of Mali without authorization from the Department of Mines ;
  2. engaging in exploration or exploitation of mineral substances without the proper title;
  3. assisting clandestine prospectors or miners;
  4. failure to implement the approved protective measures prior to site closure; and
  5. failure to implement required measures for safety, pollution control, environmental protection, protection of communication lines, structural stability, and water usage, flow and quality.

The penalties include fines and imprisonment, as well as confiscation of illegally extracted minerals and the means, instruments and things used to extract them.

24.14 Example 2:

Article [_]

Any person who intentionally or negligently transgresses the boundaries of his or her reconnaissance area, prospecting area, claim area, retention area or mining area while carrying on reconnaissance operations, prospecting operations or mining operations or such boundaries to be so transgressed shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding [Maximum Penalty Amount] or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Annotation

Drawn from Namibia’s mining law (1992), this example presents an additional specific violation applicable to reconnaissance-type prospecting licences – namely, conducting operations outside of the licenced area - that may be found within a general article on miscellaneous violations.