By Godknows Hofisi
HARARE (Mining Index) – AN EXCLUSIVE Prospecting Order (“EPO”) is issued in terms of Part VI of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05), (“the Act”) of Zimbabwe. It confers exclusive rights to prospect for specified minerals in any identified location in the country.
Application for an EPO
This is made in terms of section 87 of the Act. Any person may make a written application to the Mining Affairs Board, (“MAB” or “the Board”) for the making of an order in his / her favour over any defined area in Zimbabwe including any area reserved under section 35 of the Act.
Section 87(2) specifies the requirements in such an application. Some of them include:
- Prescribed payment,
- Full information as to his / her financial status,
- If so required by the Board, particulars of any guarantees that may be offered for the performance of his / her obligations under the order,
- Particulars of the minerals which he / she wishes to seek and mine,
- Details illustrated by a sketch plan of the area to be embraced by the order and the size of such area,’
- A statement whether or not he / she wishes the order to authorise him / her to prospect for specified minerals on any registered base mineral blocks within the reservation,
- Any further information required of him/ her by the Board,
- If the applicant is a company the full names and nationality of the directors and the full names by which those directors have at any time been known in any part of the world,
- A programme of the prospecting operations he / she intends to carry out within the reservation during the first period of six months from the date of the order.
MAB’s recommendation in respect of an application
According to section 89 of the Act the MAB may make recommendations to the Minister responsible for Mines for the making of an order in favour of the applicant over such an area and subject to such conditions as the Board may think fit to recommend, if the Board is satisfied:
- That the applicant is a fit and proper person to obtain an order and is of adequate financial standing to undertake the operations under order, and
- That it would not be against the national interest to make such an order.
Approval of the application
According to section 90 of the Act if the MAB recommends the making of an order it shall submit to the Minister the application together with all the relevant documents, its written report and its recommendations thereto.
The Minister shall submit such recommendations to the President, who may refuse the application or authorize the issue of an order in terms of the recommendations of the Board or on such amended terms as he may think fit to fix.
Issue of order
The order is issued in terms of section 91 of the Act. If the President has approved of the making of an order the Minister shall forthwith make an order in favour of the applicant.
Every order shall be published in the (Government) Gazette and a copy of such order shall be sent to the applicant, the Board and to the Mining Commissioner (now Provincial Mining Director) of the district in which the reservation is situated.
Rights granted may not be ceded
According to section 92 of the Act the rights under an order shall be personal to the concession holder who may not, save with the written permission of the Minister, cede or assign any such rights to any other person.
Duration of order
An order is granted for a period not exceeding three years but may be extended by the Minister on recommendation by the MAB for a further period not exceeding three years.
This simplified article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute the writer’s professional advice.
Godknows Hofisi, LLB(UNISA), B.Acc(UZ), CA(Z), MBA(EBS,UK) is a legal practitioner / conveyancer, chartered accountant, corporate rescue practitioner, corporate advisor and is an experienced director of companies. He writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted on +263 772 246 900 or email@example.com ENDS// www.miningndex.co.zw
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