Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2022
Act 16 of 2023
- Published in Sierra Leone Gazette 30 on 12 May 2023
- Assented to on 21 March 2023
- Commenced on 12 May 2023
- [This is the version of this document from 12 May 2023.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"affected community" means that group of people resident in an area that is or may reasonably be expected to be impacted by mineral activities and may, in respect of a licence activity, and may be more than one community;"affiliate" means a person, individual, subcontractor, business associate or other legal entity directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or working with a holder;"Agency" means the National Minerals Agency established under the laws of Sierra Leone to promote the development of minerals through the effective and efficient management of the administration and regulation of licences and minerals development in Sierra Leone;"annual charge" means the annual charge payable by the holder;"applicant" means for purposes of this Act, a person who submits the prescribed information under this Act and laws of Sierra Leone in order to obtain, renew, or otherwise modify licence rights authorised under this Act;"arm's length" means a business deal in which buyers and sellers act independently, without one party influencing the other party;"artisanal mining", means the intentional extraction of minerals in a licence area up to one hectare with depth up to 10 metres and may not involve the use of mechanised earth-moving equipment as may be prescribed;"artisanal mining licence" means a mining licence granted under this Act;"artisanal mining licence area" means the mining area that is subject to an artisanal mining licence;"assay" means testing of a sample of ores or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained;"authorised officer" means a government staff member, civil servant or public servant that has authority to conduct a prescribed activity under this Act;"beneficial owner" means a natural or legal person(s) who directly or indirectly ultimately owns or control a company or on whose behalf a transaction is conducted and includes a person who holds 5% or more interest in the shares of a Small-scale mining licence or Large-scale mining licence."Board" means the Minerals Advisory Board referred to in section 10, which is a consultative inter-agency body to ensure oversight of mineral sector activities in Sierra Leone reporting directly to the Minister and providing advice on aspects of mineral sector development as well as to inform various government agencies of the status of sector development;"body corporate" means a company or corporation as defined under the laws of Sierra Leone;"cadastral map" means the specific map used to define the perimeter of a licence that is legally in force, for which an application is pending or areas that have been identified as designated, reserved, protected or otherwise closed for licence activities;"Chiefdom Council" means the Chiefdom Council Committee extablished under the Customary Land Act, 2022"commercial production" means the commercial mining of minerals from a licence area or any part of the mine as part of the mine plan but does not include milling (removing materials) for the purpose of testing or sampling;"Commissioner General" means the Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority;"Community Development Agreement" means a community development agreement that is intended to assist in the development of mining communities affected by mining and mine-related activities;"Community Development Fund" means a community development fund established as part of a Community Development Agreement as prescribed under this Act;"compensation" means financial payment or provision of services or goods for the deprivation of land use or change in status as agreed with owners, lawful occupants, affected communities or other parties in respect of land on or under which licence activities shall be or are conducted and may include cash payment, deferred payment, a bond, an insurance policy, stipend, grants of alternative land, business, trade or commercial facilities, allowances, payments in kind such as goods or services provided as payment instead of cash, rendition of services, grant of privileges, entitlement to special treatment, social or cultural amenities etc. that may be due or extended to affected persons;"construction materials" means aggregates including sand, gravel and crushed natural stone, various brick clays, gypsum and natural ornamental or dimension stone;"continental shelf" means that part of the seabed and subsoil of the submarine area adjacent to the coast of Sierra Leone but outside the territorial waters of Sierra Leone;"control" in relation to an associated company means ownership by one company of more than 50% of the voting securities of another company, or the power to direct, administer and dictate policies of another company even where the voting securities held by the company exercising such effective control in that other company is less than 50%;"core" means a long cylindrical piece of rock, about an inch in diameter, brought to surface by diamond drilling; a sample of rock that has been drilled out of the potential mine area;"court" means the High Court of Sierra Leone;"designated area" means an area declared by the Minister for licencing of artisanal mining as prescribed under this Act;"deep seabed mining" means the processes and technologies designed to collect metal-rich resources from the deep seafloor;"deposit" means any naturally or artificially occurring concentration of minerals;"Director-General" means the Director-General of the Agency;"discovery" means a discovery of a mineral or a mineral deposit or a group of minerals occurring in quantities or circumstances that indicate the presence of a mineral deposit;"dredging" for purposes of this Act means the excavation of material from a water body that may include improving an existing water feature, reshaping land and water features to alter drainage, navigability and commercial use, constructing dams, dikes and other controls for streams and shorelines and shall not include exploration or mining;"dredging permit" means the legal right to conduct dredging activities;"easement" means the legal right to cross over, into or otherwise use someone else's land in order to access and, or to conduct licence activities;"environmental impact assessment" means a prior scientific foreseeable analysis of potential effects of an activity that would affect the environment and social conditions, including health and safety and which addresses certain issues through active and time-based mitigation and alleviation measures approved in accordance with the laws of Sierra Leone;"environmental impact assessment licence" means approval issued by the Environment Protection Agency;"environmental and social management plan" means the programme in connection to the environment, affected community and society-at-large, that includes measures to eliminate negative impacts during licence activities, remediation and rehabilitation and to mitigate of eliminate damage and to ensure compensation and address health and safety issues as prescribed under the laws of Sierra Leone;"Environment Protection Agency" means the Environment Protection Agency established under the Environment Protection Agency Act of 2022;"environmental screening report" means a prior analysis of potential effects of a licence activity that would affect the environment and social conditions, and which addresses certain issues through active and time-based mitigation and alleviation measures as prescribed;"exploration" means any activity carried out to discover potentially economical and mineable minerals in order to demarcate the quality and quantity of the minerals contained within a licence area, and, or to evaluate the possibilities of the production of those minerals; and shall include reconnaissance activities and shall have the same meaning for "explore", "explored" and any variation of the word;"exploration licence" means an exploration licence granted under this Act;"exploration licence area" means the land that is subject to an exploration licence;"exploration operation" means activities conducted by an exploration or mining licence holder on the surface of lands or underground to locate minerals and to determine the mineability and commerciality that are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the licence and the laws of Sierra Leone;"exploration plan" means the set of objectives and strategic goals for mineral exploration that includes operational and management plans for technical optimisation, health and safety, environmental and social protection, and financial expenditures;"excavation" means a trench, pit, shaft or other open working;"feasibility study" means an evaluation of a proposed exploration or mining operations to determine the economic viability of developing the deposit that typically includes several evaluation documents, e.g., "order of magnitude", "preliminary or prefeasibility study" and "detailed feasibility study";"geodata" means information, individual items, samples and records obtained by observation, measurement, sampling and description of the earth's surface and subsurface, both onshore and offshore, and having an association with a location relative to the earth including geographical and geological information;"Government" means the Government of Sierra Leone;"health and safety plan" means a description of the potential health and safety hazards for exploration or mining operations based upon the specific activities being or to be carried out and is prepared by the holder. The response plan for such hazards is designed and implemented through provision of technically appropriate equipment, better implementation of relevant measures, and adoption of accurate methods and shall be in accordance with good industry practise and laws of Sierra Leone;"health emergency" means an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition caused by epidemic, pandemic or bioterrorism that is declared as a health emergency by the Government;"holder" means the person in whose name a licence is granted under this Act and registered with the Agency;"land" means surface area, area above and beneath water, riverbed and sub-soil and shall include all categories of land under the laws of Sierra Leone;"large-scale mining" means the intentional extraction of minerals in mechanised open cast operations exceeding 20 metres in depth or involving the sinking of shafts, drilling of adits or other underground opening exceeding 20 metres in width on an area exceeding 200 hectares and includes underground mining operations;"large-scale mining area" means the area that is subject to a large-scale mining licence;"large-scale mining licence" means a large-scale mining licence granted under this Act;"lawful occupant" means a person who has legal authority to occupy a residential or commercial or other structure or have use of land who has lease or other permission from the land owner;"laws of Sierra Leone" means the body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect prescribed, recognised and enforced by a controlling authority in Sierra Leone and shall include any rule that if broken subjects the offending party to administrative penalty, civil liability and, or criminal punishment"lease" means a grant of a specifically defined area of land, in writing, for a term of years, and containing an obligation to give consideration, signed by the landowner as lessor and the holder renting the land as lessee; and with respect to this Act, means the formal written permission to use land and, or water stated in the lease solely for the purposes of licence activities;"licence" means a certified, detailed description issued by the Minister to the holder that includes a description of the rights and obligations of the holder, map(s) of the licence area, licence duration and other descriptions;"licence activity" means any authorised activity conducted under a licence;"licence area" means the area including the surface, below and above ground including water ways in which licence activities may be conducted and with respect to reconnaissance, exploration, artisanal, small-scale and large-scale mining licences must be contiguous;"Local Council" means a local council established under the Local Council Act of 2004;"material" when used as an adjective means anything that is important, essential or relevant;"mechanised" means the use of any machine, process or activity that reduces the human effort required to break or move rock or material in a mine;"mine" means—(a)a place, excavation or working, or by which an operation connected with mining is carried on together with all buildings, premises, erections and appliances belonging or appertaining to it, above and below the ground, for the purpose of extracting, treating or preparing minerals, obtaining or extracting a mineral or metal by any mode or method or for the purpose of dressing mineral ores, and includes a quarry where minerals are mined; or(b)to intentionally extract minerals and includes an operation directly or indirectly necessary for or incidental to mining operations;"mine closure plan" means a plan to abate, control, mitigate, remove or contain an imminent and future threat to public health and the environment that is reasonably likely to occur if a mine ceases operation;"mine plan" means the set of objectives and strategic goals for mineral development that includes operational and management plans for technical optimisation, health and safety, environmental and social protection, financial expenditures;"mineral" means a substance, whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form, occurring naturally in or on the earth, in or under water or in mine residue deposits and having been formed by or subjected to a geological process, including elements and compounds, metals and ores, gemstones, sand, stone, rock, gravel and clay as well as soil and includes coal but excludes water, natural oil, natural gas, petroleum, topsoil and peat that can potentially be extracted for commercial gain;"mineral product" means a substance derived from an Ore by mining or processing;"mining" means operations and activities related to the technical and economic extraction of minerals including ongoing exploration and extraction;"mining area" means land on or under which production is conducted and includes an artisanal mining, small-scale mining or a large-scale mining area;"mining cadastre office" means the public office responsible for managing the regulatory aspects of applications and licences;"mining cadastre system" means the digital platform that integrates the regulatory, institutional, and technological aspects of application and licence administration and includes the cadastral registries;"mining operations" means activities conducted to explore for and extract minerals under a mining licence by the holder on or below the surface of land;"Minister" means the Minister responsible for mines and minerals, and the Ministry shall be constred accordingly;"National Revenue Authority" means the National Revenue Authority with the primary responsibility to collect domestic taxes, customs duties and other revenues established under the National Revenue Authority Act, 2002 (, its amendment or successor legislation;"Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority" means the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority established under the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority Act, 2012 (Act No. 7 of 2012);"order" means a written, time-based directive issued by an authorised officer that, as long as it does not contravene the provisions of this, or any other laws of Sierra Leone, shall be strictly followed;"ore" means a natural aggregate of one or more minerals which may be mined and sold or from which some part may be extracted;"person" means a natural person or legal person, individual, cooperative, or any company or association or body of persons corporate or unincorporated;(a)natural person means an individual;(b)legal person shall have the meaning of "body corporate" as defined under this Act;"precious mineral" includes—(a)precious stones, namely diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, and all other substances of a similar nature to any of them; and(b)precious metals, namely gold, silver, platinum group metals, or ores containing any of these metals provided that they are commercially recoverable or economically viable;(c)other minerals and aggregates minerals as the Minister may from time to time declare by notice published in the Gazette to be development minerals;"prescribed" means requirements as set out in a law or regulations and includes this Act and its regulations;"primary host community" means the authorised signatory community to a community development agreement as agreed by the affected communities that may include the Chiefdom Council or Local Council as prescribed under this Act;"processing" in relation to a mineral, means the artificial transforming of minerals so as to change their natural characteristics or to prepare a final or semi-final product for sale or for use and includes winning, extracting, concentrating, refining, classifying, crushing, screening, washing, reduction, smelting, polishing or gasification;"programme of exploration operations" means the activities described in the approved exploration plan that reflect the entirety of exploration operations including methodology and equipment, that shall be updated as prescribed throughout the duration of the licence to reflect significant changes to the exploration operations;"programme of mining operations" means the activities described in the approved mine plan that reflect the entire workings of the mining operations including methodology, equipment and previous workings at the mine, drawn to a scale that allows for legibility and updated throughout the duration of the licence to reflect significant changes to the mining operations;"programme of reconnaissance operations" means the activities set out in detail to describe work intended to be conducted over the licence duration together with a budget of estimated costs and expenditures, equipment expected to be used, names and qualifications of individuals responsible for implementation of the programme;"public interest" means anything affecting the rights, health or finances of the public at large and is a common concern amongst citizens;"public officer" means a person employed by government who is engaged in the administration, implementation or enforcement of this Act;"public tender" means a publicly advertised solicitation of bids that for purposes of this Act shall be conducted in at least 2 stages following prescribed procedures;"quarry" when used as a noun means a place where construction materials are extracted in surface excavations, and may include processing of these products; when used as a verb means activities associated with the surface extraction of construction materials;"radioactive mineral" means a mineral which contains by weight, at least, one twentieth of one percent (0.05per centum), of uranium, thorium or a combination of it, including—(a)monazite sand and other ore containing thorium; and(b)carnotite, pitchblende and other ores containing uranium;"reclamation" means the restoration of a site after some or all of exploration or mining activity is completed;"reconnaissance licence" means a reconnaissance licence granted under this Act, that does not exceed 10,000 sq. km, that is non-exclusive and non-invasive;"reconnaissance licence area" means an area that is subject to a reconnaissance licence;"reconnaissance operations" mean operations and works to carry out the search for mineral occurrences and resources by geo-physical surveys, geo-chemical surveys, photo-geological surveys or other remote sensing techniques and non-invasive surface geology in connection therewith, but excludes drilling and excavation;"registry" means the catalogue of information included as part of the mining cadastre system that includes recorded details of applications and licences, grants, modifications and dealings in, assignments, transfers, suspensions and cancellations of rights as prescribed;"regulations" means legislative measures enacted by the Government that are applicable to the implementation of the provisions of this Act;"rehabilitation" means the restoration of land subject to a licence to, as far as practicable, its natural state or to a safe condition that is usable for other activities, to the satisfaction of the Agency and any other relevant and legally authorised body;"remediation" means with respect to environment, clean up and remedy of damage;"reserved area" means an area on public land based on government survey data designated for exploration or mining, the licence for which shall be granted by public tender;"resettlement action plan" means a document prepared based on assessment prepared by the holder or its affiliate in consultation with affected communities of mineral activities and include adequate financing to cover social impacts including but not limited to costs of resettlement and compensation for resettled individuals, training programs and other social support;"revoke" means cancel and shall have the same meaning for "revocation";"salting" means the act of introducing metals or minerals into a deposit or samples, resulting in false assays, done either by accident or with the intent of defrauding the public;"sample" means a small portion of rock or a mineral deposit taken so that the metal content can be determined by assaying;"semi-precious mineral" means gemstones, including amber, amethyst, beryl, cat's eye, chrysotile, garnet, opal, turquoise and all other substances of a similar nature to any of them;"small-scale mining" means a small-scale mining licence granted by the Minister under section 96 of this Act."smuggle" means the illegal movement of minerals into or out of Sierra Leone;"sq. km." means square kilometre;"strategic minerals" means minerals declared by the Government as strategic;"structure" means buildings and prefabricated buildings that may be removed and may be categorised as temporary or permanent and shall include but not be limited to buildings, processing plants; conveyors may be considered as structures that the holder may remove or dispose of;"surface rent" means the monetary payment that a holder makes to the owner of land on which the holder intends to conduct exploration or mining activities;"surface rights agreement" means lease, easement, right of way or other permission required to formalise access and use of land;"surrender" means the giving up of all or a portion of a licence area;"tailings" means the waste material remaining from the processing of minerals such as any solid or liquid residues derived from them;"termination" means the lapse of a licence by expiry of time, surrender or cancellation; and where the surrender or cancellation is in respect of part only of the area covered by the licence, then the licence shall be deemed to have been surrendered or cancelled in respect of all or part of that licence area;"trade" means the commercial transport processing, marketing and/or sale of minerals and, or mineral products;"work programme" means a final, fully costed and approved series of time-based actions to be carried out under a licence.
3. Non-applicationThis Act shall not apply to oil, natural gas, surface water or peat.
Part II – Ownership of minerals
4. Ownership of minerals
5. Strategic minerals
Part III – Administration
6. Ministry responsible for administration of minerals governance
7. Agency responsible to provide technical support to Ministry
8. Mining cadastre office
9. Mining cadastre system
10. Minerals Advisory Board
11. Functions of the Board
12. Committees of BoardThe Board may, for the discharge of its functions, appoint one or more committees to perform such functions as the Board may determine.
13. Filling of vacancy
14. Disclosure of interestA member of the Board who has an interest, whether direct or indirect, in a matter being considered or to be considered by the Board, shall disclose the nature of such interest to the Board and the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board and such member shall not take part in a deliberation or decision of the Board relating to that matter.
15. Authorised officerAn authorised officer shall as prescribed be appointed by notice in the Gazette.
16. Right of entry of authorised officer
17. IndemnityA public officer, authorised officer or member of the Board or a member of a committee of the Board shall not be liable for anything done or omitted to be done, in good faith in the performance of any function vested in or delegated to the individual or Board as provided for in this Act.
19. Prohibition of disclosing information
20. "Cooling-off Period"The restrictions set forth under this Act shall remain in force as follows for—
Part IV – Mineral areas and excluded lands
21. Reserved area
22. Designated artisanal mining area
23. Excluded landsApplications shall not be accepted, and a holder shall not conduct licence activities in excluded lands that shall include—
Part V – Applications, public tender and licences
25. "First come, first served" applicationAn application may be submitted for an initial grant of licence for consideration on a "first come, first served" basis in accordance with prescribed procedures.
26. Public tender
27. LicencesThe following licences may be issued under this Act—
28. Power of Minister to issue licence
29. Information to be included in a licenceA licence issued under section 27 shall contain such information as may be prescribed including—
30. Right of owner to extract and use construction materialsNothing in this Act prevents the extraction and use of construction materials by the owner or lawful occupant on area that is not subject to a licence for the purposes of building, road construction or agricultural purposes on the land of the owner or lawful occupant.
Part VI – Eligibility and restrictions
32. Restrictions on eligibility
Part VII – Surface rights
33. Surface rights and obligations
34. Retained rights
35. Compensation for disturbance of rights or damage to land
36. Distribution of surface rentA land lease or other rights to use land obtained by the holder of a large scale mining licence, shall be subject to surface rent which shall be distributed as follows:
|(c)||Constituencty development fund||10%|
37. Power of the Minister to suspend licenceFailure of a holder to comply with compensation obligations under his Act shall be an offence and the Minister may as prescribed suspend the licence until such payment is made.
38. Obligation of State to undertake compensation and resettlementWhere the State is a holder under this Act, the requirements for compensation and resettlement as prescribed under the laws of Sierra Leone shall apply.
39. Right to resettlement
40. Overlapping rights of licence holders
41. Right of way
Part VIII – General licence requirements
42. General requirementsA holder is subject to—
43. Maintenance of cores and samples
44. Registered addressA holder shall maintain in Sierra Leone a traceable and verifiable address registered with the Agency.
45. Records and reports
46. Amendment and modification of licences
47. Change of ownership
48. Prohibition of assignment, transfer, lease, pledge or mortgage of licencesThe following licences that shall not be subject to assignment, transfer, lease, pledge, mortgage or other conveyance—
49. Assignment, transfer, lease, pledge or mortgage of licencesThe following licences may be assigned, transferred, leased, pledged, mortgaged or otherwise conveyed to an eligible applicant subject to the written approval of the Minister which shall not be unreasonably withheld—
50. Original holder to protect environment and other obligationsUnless and until a licence is re-registered with the Agency, an assignment, transfer, lease, pledge, mortgage or other conveyance of licence shall not relieve the original holder from its legal obligations to protect the environment, rehabilitation of licence area or in respect of other obligations set out in the licence.
51. No right of inheritanceThere shall be no rights of inheritance with respect to a licence or licence application.
52. Arms-length salesA holder shall sell minerals and mineral products in accordance with accepted international best practice and conduct arms-length transactions, a record of which shall be maintained at the holder's offices and included in its regular reporting to the Agency.
Part IX – Surrender, retention, suspension and cancellation
53. SurrenderA holder may as prescribed at any time surrender all or part of its licence.
54. Application for certificate of surrender
56. Suspension of production
57. Emergency suspension
60. Right of the state to acquire infrastructureA public utility and shared utility infrastructure built by a holder, shall become property of the State upon termination of the licence, unless otherwise prescribed under a Community Development Agreement.
61. Right of the State to acquire mineral productsMinerals, mineral products and all other items that are not removed from the licence area within the prescribed time following expiration or termination of licence shall become property of the State and shall be disposed in accordance with the laws of Sierra Leone.
Part X – Reconnaissance licence
62. Application for reconnaissance licence
63. Restriction on grant of reconnaissance licenceA reconnaissance licence shall—
64. Disposal of application for reconnaissance licence
65. Minister to notify applicant
66. Reconnaissance licence areaA reconnaissance licence area shall not exceed 10,000 sq. km.
67. Duration of reconnaissance licence
68. Renewal of reconnaissance licence
69. Reconnaissance licence rightsA holder of a reconnaissance licence shall have the non-exclusive right to—
70. Reconnaissance licence obligationsA holder of a reconnaissance licence shall—
71. Holder of reconnaissance licence to keep recordsA holder of a reconnaissance licence shall keep at its reconnaissance registered address current and complete records that shall include—
Part XI – Exploration licence
72. Application for exploration licence
73. Restriction on grant of exploration licence
74. Disposal of application for exploration licence
75. Power of Minister to grant or reject application
76. Exploration areaAn exploration licence area shall not exceed contiguous 175 sq. km.
77. Duration of exploration licenceAn exploration licence shall be valid for up to 3 years.
78. Renewal of exploration licence
79. Exploration licence rightsA holder of an exploration licence shall have the exclusive right to conduct activities as prescribed within the exploration licence area that may include the right to—
80. Exploration licence obligationsA holder of an exploration licence shall—
81. Holder of exploration licence to keep recordA holder of an exploration licence shall keep at his exploration registered address current and complete records that shall include—
82. Conversion rights
83. Exploration licence to remain in force until determination of application
Part XII – Artisanal mining licence
84. Licenceing of artisanal miningArtisanal mining shall only be undertaken by a citizen or a co-operative wholly composed of citizens.
85. Application for artisanal mining licenceAn application for an artisanal mining licence shall be submitted to the Agency in the prescribed form and shall—
86. Restriction on grant of artisanal mining licence
87. Disposal of application for artisanal mining licence
88. Artisanal mining licence areaAn artisanal mining licence area shall be up to 2.5 acres and licence area shall comprise contiguous area.
89. Duration of artisanal mining licenceAn artisanal mining licence shall be valid for up to 1 year.
90. Renewal of artisanal mining licence
91. Artisanal mining licence rightsThe holder of an artisanal mining licence shall have an exclusive right to conduct activities as prescribed within the artisanal mining licence area that may include the right to—
92. Artisanal mining licence obligationsA holder of an artisanal mining licence shall—
93. Use of machinery
Part XIII – Small-scale mining licences
94. Application for small-scale mining licenceAn application for a small-scale mining licence shall be submitted to the Agency in the prescribed form and shall—
95. Restrictions on grant of small-scale mining licenceA small-scale mining licence shall not be granted to the applicant until prescribed documents are approved including—
96. Extraction of construction materialsThe extraction of construction materials shall be subject to the requirements of a small-scale mining licence as applies.
97. Disposal of application for small-scale mining licence
98. Small-scale mining licence category
99. Duration of small-scale mining licenceA small-scale mining licence shall be valid for up to 4 years.
100. Renewal of small-scale mining licence
101. Small-scale mining licence rightsThe holder of a small-scale mining licence shall have an exclusive mining right to conduct activities as prescribed within the small-scale licence area and such licence rights may include the right to rights.
102. Small-scale mining licence obligationsThe holder of a small-scale mining licence shall have the mining licence obligation to—
103. Holder of small-scale mining licence to keep recordsThe holder of a small-scale licence shall keep at its registered address current and complete records that shall include—
104. Additional discovery
Part XIV – Large scale mining licence
105. Application for large-scale mining licence
106. Restrictions on grant of large-scale mining licenceA large-scale mining licence shall not be granted to an applicant until the prescribed documents are approved including—
107. Application for deep seabed miningAn application for deep seabed bed mining shall only be considered under the requirements of large-scale mining licence.
108. Disposal of application for large-scale mining licence
109. Large-scale mining licence areaA large-scale mining licence area shall not be more than 125 s.q.km. defined in the large-scale mining licence to reflect the area required to reasonably conduct allowable exploration and mining activities and shall be based on geological and other information.
110. Application for enlargement of large-scale mining areaThe holder of a large-scale mining licence may apply to enlarge the licence area where geodata is sufficient to justify that the large-scale enlargement will be efficient and optimise minerals development, in which case the holder shall provide updated information to reflect the modification including—
111. Duration of large-scale mining licenceA large-scale mining licence shall be valid for up to 25 years.
112. Renewal of large-scale mining licence
113. Large-scale mining licence rightsThe holder of a large-scale mining licence shall have an exclusive right to conduct activities as prescribed within the licence area and such rights may include the right to—
114. Large-scale mining licence obligationsThe holder of a large-scale mining licence shall have mining obligation to—
115. Holder of large-scale mining licence to keep recordsThe holder of a large-scale licence shall keep at its registered address current and complete records that shall include—
116. Additional discovery
Part XV – Radioactive minerals
117. ProhibitionA person shall not acquire, store, process, transport or sell a radioactive mineral except with approval of the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority or as prescribed under the laws of Sierra Leone.
118. Application and licenceAn application for radioactive minerals shall be limited to requirements of—
119. Approval of Board and CabinetAn application for radioactive minerals shall require approval of the Board and the Cabinet.
120. InvestigationFor the purposes of investigating an offence under this part, the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority or other government agency responsible for the regulation of radioactive materials may, without warrant—
Part XVI – Dealers and exporters licence
121. Application for dealers licence
122. Disposal of application for dealer licence
123. Content of dealer licenceA dealer licence shall specify the mineral or minerals to which the licence shall apply.
124. Duration of dealer licenceA dealer licence shall be valid for up to 1 year.
125. Renewal of dealer licence
126. Dealer licence rightsThe holder of a dealer licence shall have the non-exclusive right to—
127. Dealer licence obligationsThe holder of a dealer licence shall have the obligation, as prescribed to—
128. Application for exporter licenceAn application for an exporter licence shall be submitted in the prescribed form and shall contain a statement giving the particulars of—
129. Duration of application for exporter licence
130. Duration and renewal of exporter licence
131. Exporter licence rightsThe holder of an exporter licence shall have the non-exclusive rights to—
132. Exporter licence obligationsThe holder of an exporter licence shall have the obligation, as prescribed to—
Part XVII – Protection of the environment
133. General duty to protectA holder and its affiliates shall conduct licence activities in accordance with the laws of Sierra Leone and in a manner that is practicable to minimise, mitigate and manage environmental and social impacts of licence activities.
134. Holder to submit annual report
135. Obligations of holders
136. Holder not to divert watercourse without permitThe holder of a mining right shall not divert any water course unless such diversion is part of a reconnaissance exploration or mining programme approved by the relevant authority.
137. Holder to obtain approval for mine closureA holder shall obtain certified approval for mine closure from the Environmental Protection Agency prior to expiry or termination of its licence.
138. Conditions for renewal of licence
139. Environmental impact assessmentIn addition to the legal requirements under the laws of Sierra Leone, with respect to environmental impact assessments prepared under this Act, as prescribed, inclusion of social, health and safety impacts, measures for mitigations and costed budget shall be included.
Part XVIII – Community development
140. General obligation to promote community developmentThe holder of a small-scale mining licence or large-scale mining licence shall assist in the development of mining communities affected by its operations to promote sustainable development, enhance the general welfare and the quality of life of the inhabitants, and shall recognize and respect the rights, customs, traditions and religion of local communities.
141. Community development agreement
142. Signatories to community development agreement
143. Community development fund
144. Mining district development fund
Part XIX – Health and safety
145. Holders to ensure safe conditionsA holder shall be obligated to—
146. Duties of employees and affiliatesAn employee and all affiliates shall—
147. Rights of employees and affiliatesAn employee or affiliate who works at a mine shall have a right to leave the mine when circumstances arise which appear to him, with reasonable justification, to pose a serious danger to his health or safety.
148. Duty to report to AgencyWhere an accident or any incident in connection with a licence occurs, the holder shall as prescribed report the incident to the Agency as soon as is possible.
149. Duty of holder to maintain recordsA holder shall maintain health and safety records including accident and incident reports for at least 5 years.
Part XX – Social protection
150. Protection from discrimination
151. Holder to formulate and implement policies
Part XXI – Financial provisions
153. Annual charge
154. Submission of financial agreementsA holder shall submit a copy of any sales, financial management, commercial or other financial agreements in excess of USD 100,000 or its equivalent in Leones, enter into under its licence to the Minister, and as part of its annual tax filings.
155. Separate accountingA holder shall as prescribed maintain separate balance sheets, accounting statements and books of accounts for each licence.
156. Recovery of debt
157. Repatriation of export revenues
158. TransparencyThe Minister shall—
159. Holder to report revenuesA holder shall report revenues as prescribed and shall include—
160. Beneficial ownership disclosure
161. State participationIn respect of a large-scale mining licence, the State in the form participation, of a body corporate, as prescribed shall acquire—
162. Agreement to be approvedAn agreement with respect to state participation shall be reviewed by the Board, the Minister and the Minister of Finance and approve by Cabinet.
Part XXII – Identification of cultural or archaeological relics
163. Identification of cultural or archaeological relics
Part XXIII – Discovery of precious minerals by non-licence holder
164. Discovery of minerals by non-licence holder
165. Obligation of non-licence holder to report
Part XXIV – Local content
166. Preference for Sierra Leonean goods and services
167. Employment and training of citizens of Sierra Leone
168. ReportingA holder shall submit as part of its annual report to the Agency information including—
Part XXVI – Offences and penalities[Please note: Part numbering as in original.]
169. Disclosure of information
170. Non-disclosure of information
172. False representation
173. Failure to perform licence obligations
174. Failure to pay compensation
175. Violation of human rights
176. Discrimination and harassment
177. Obstruction of authorized officer
178. Disruption of boundariesA person shall not, without lawful authority willfully break, deface or remove, or in any way interfere with a boundary mark, beacon, pillar, peg or post erected for any purpose under this Act or under regulations made under it, or remove or alter any such mark, beacon, pillar peg or post after it has been delineated on a plan or survey.
179. Failure to report discovery
180. Failure to notify Agency
181. Interference with licence operations
183. Unlawful possession of mineral
184. Illegal sale and smuggling
185. Confiscation of minerals
186. PenaltiesThe Minister shall by statutory instruments, prescribe penalties for offences not expressly provided for under this Act.
Part XXV – Miscellaneous[Please note: Part numbering as in original.]
187. Right to appealAn applicant and a holder as prescribed have a right to appeal actions taken under this Act.
189. Exemption for disclosure of informationNothing in this section prohibits the disclosure of confidential of information—
190. Dispute resolutionApplications, non-confidential agreements, and non-confidential reports submitted by past and present holders shall be published and open to inspection by members of the public during normal office hours and members of the public shall be permitted to take copies thereof on payment of the prescribed fee.
191. Public access
192. No preclusion for parties to seek alternate resolutionThere is no preclusion for the parties in dispute to apply to—
Part XXVI – Regulations
Part XXVIII – Repeal and savings
194. Repeal and savings
History of this document
12 May 2023 this version
21 March 2023