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MINING ACT, 2003.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS.

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

   1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

   3.   Ownership of minerals.

   4.   Acquisition of mineral right.

   5.   Restrictions on acquisition of mineral right.

   6.   Transfer of mineral right.

   7.   Form and content of mineral right.

   8.   Types of mineral right.

   9.   Application for mineral right.

   10.   Further information in support of application.

   11.   Compliance with other laws, etc.

   12.   Security for compliance.

PART II
ADMINISTRATION.

   13.   Commissioner for Geological Survey and Mines Department.

   14.   Powers of Commissioner, etc.

   15.   Obstruction of Commissioner, etc.

   16.   Indemnity of officials.

   17.   Prohibition of officers to acquire interest.

PART III
MINERAL AGREEMENT, PROSPECTING LICENCE, EXPLORATION LICENCE, RETENTION LICENCE AND MINING LEASE.

   18.   Mineral agreements.

   19.   Application for prospecting licence.

   20.   Grant of prospecting licence.

   21.   Restrictions on prospecting licence.

   22.   Duration of prospecting licence.

   23.   Rights of prospecting licence holder.

   24.   Obligations of prospecting licence holder.

   25.   Minerals obtained during prospecting.

   26.   Application for exploration licence.

   27.   Grant of exploration licence.

   28.   Restrictions on exploration licence.

   29.   Duration of exploration licence.

   30.   Renewal of exploration licence.

   31.   Rights of exploration licence holder.

   32.   Obligations of exploration licence holder.

   33.   Amendment of exploration programme.

   34.   Status of exploration licence pending grant of a mining lease.

   35.   Application for retention licence.

   36.   Grant of retention licence.

   37.   Duration of retention licence.

   38.   Renewal of retention licence.

   39.   Rights and obligations under a retention licence.

   40.   Power to request retention licence holder to apply for mining lease.

   41.   Application for mining lease.

   42.   Disposal of application for mining lease.

   43.   Restrictions on grant of mining lease.

   44.   Disposal and notice of decision on mining lease application.

   45.   Contents of mining lease.

   46.   Duration of mining lease.

   47.   Renewal of mining lease.

   48.   Amendment of programme of operations of mining lease.

   49.   Rights of mining leaseholder.

   50.   Obligations of mining leaseholder.

   51.   Wasteful mining and treatment practices.

   52.   Coordination of mining operations.

   53.   Cessation, suspension or curtailment of production.

PART IV
LOCATION LICENCE.

   54.   Application of Act to location licence.

   55.   Location licence.

   56.   Application for location licence.

   57.   Grant of location licence.

   58.   Size of area covered by location licence.

   59.   Duration, renewal and revocation of location licence.

   60.   Rights and duties of location licence holder.

   61.   Inquiry into disputes.

   62.   Inquiry proceedings.

   63.   Legality of proceedings.

PART V
INSPECTION OF OPERATIONS UNDER MINERAL RIGHTS.

   64.   Powers of Commissioner to inspect.

   65.   Powers to order the remedy of dangerous or defective operations.

   66.   Powers of authorised medical and public officers to make inspections.

   67.   Requirements of Act not subject to exemption by agreement.

   68.   Report of accidents.

PART VI
BUYING, SELLING AND DEALING IN MINERALS.

   69.   Persons authorised to buy and sell minerals.

   70.   Mineral dealer's licence.

   71.   Liability of mineral dealers for royalties.

   72.   Records to be kept by mineral dealers.

   73.   Goldsmith's licence.

   74.   Retail shopkeepers.

   75.   Register to be kept by goldsmiths.

   76.   Compliance with mineral dealer's licence.

   77.   Cancellation of mineral dealer's licence on conviction.

PART VII
MINERAL RIGHTS AND SURFACE RIGHTS.

   78.   Restriction on exercise of mineral rights.

   79.   Rights under mineral right to be exercised reasonably.

   80.   Right to graze stock and cultivate.

   81.   Acquisition of exclusive rights by holder of mining lease.

   82.   Compensation for disturbance of rights.

   83.   Option for compensation by landowners.

   84.   Interference with passageways.

   85.   Access to public roads.

   86.   Rights in waters and wetlands.

   87.   Grant of water rights.

PART VIII
SURRENDER, CANCELLATION AND SUSPENSION OF MINERAL RIGHTS.

   88.   Withdrawal of application for mineral right.

   89.   Surrender of area covered by mineral right.

   90.   Suspension or cancellation of mineral right.

   91.   Assets on termination.

   92.   Delivery of documents on termination of mineral right.

PART IX
REGISTRATION AND RECORDS.

   93.   Register.

   94.   Offences in relation to register.

   95.   Inspection of register.

   96.   Replacement of original instrument.

   97.   Evidentiary provision.

PART X
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS.

   98.   Royalties.

   99.   Waiver of royalty, etc.

   100.   Provisional royalties.

   101.   Valuation of minerals.

   102.   Royalty on stockpiled minerals.

   103.   Due date of royalty.

   104.   Failure to pay royalty on due date.

   105.   Recovery of royalty, etc.

   106.   Annual mineral rents.

   107.   Commissioner's power to require for information.

PART XI
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

   108.   Environmental Impact assessment and environmental audits.

   109.   Environmental protection standards.

   110.   Environmental restoration plan.

   111.   Direction for protection of environment.

   112.   Environmental performance bond.

PART XII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

   113.   Preference for Ugandan products and employment of Uganda citizens.

   114.   Underground work for women.

   115.   Disposal of minerals.

   116.   Export of minerals.

   117.   Import of minerals.

   118.   Administrative review by Minister.

   119.   Judicial review of Minister's decision.

   120.   Miscellaneous offences.

   121.   Regulations.

   122.   Repeal of Mining Act.

   123.   Amendment of Schedule.

   124.   Transitional provisions relating to existing mineral rights, etc.

      First Schedule   Currency point.

      Second Schedule   Sharing of royalties.

MINING ACT, 2003.

Commencement: 14 December, 2004.

   An Act to repeal and replace the Mining Act, with a new legislation on mining and mineral development which conforms, and otherwise gives effect, to the relevant provisions of the Constitution; to vest the ownership and control of all minerals in Uganda in the Government; to provide for the acquisition of mineral rights; and to provide for other related matters.

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

1.   Short title.

   This Act may be cited as the Mining Act, 2003.

2.   Interpretation.

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "authorised officer" means a public officer to whom the Commissioner has delegated any of his or her powers, duties and functions under section 13 of this Act;

   "building mineral" means rock, clay, gravel, laterite, murram, sand, sandstone and slate, which is mined by a person from land owned or lawfully occupied by him or her for his or her own domestic use in Uganda for building, or mined by a person for his or her own use for road-making, and includes such other minerals as the Minister may from time to time declare by notice published in the Gazette, to be building minerals;

   "capital" means all cash contributions, plant, machinery, equipment, buildings, spare parts, raw materials and other business assets other than goodwill;

   "company" means a body corporate formed or registered under the Companies Act;

   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner for the Geological Survey and Mines Department appointed under section 13 of this Act;

   "currency point" means the value of a currency point specified in the First Schedule to this Act;

   "customs officer" has the meaning assigned to it under the Customs Management Act;

   "environmental impact audit" has the meaning assigned to it under the National Environment Statute;

   "environmental impact assessment" has the meaning assigned to it under the National Environment Statute;

   "environmental impact statement" has the meaning assigned to it under the National Environment Statute;

   "excavation" means any trench, pit, shaft or other open working;

   "exploration area" means the land covered by or acquired under an exploration licence;

   "exploration licence" means an exploration licence acquired under the provisions of Part III of this Act;

   "explore" means to define the extent and determine the economic value of a mineral deposit;

   "Government" means the Government of the Republic of Uganda;

   "holder" means a person to whom a licence is granted under this Act, and includes every person to whom that licence is lawfully transferred or assigned;

   "in default" means in breach of any of the provisions of this Act, the regulations, any condition of a licence or any provision of a mineral agreement;

   "industrial minerals" means barite, rock, clay, dolomite, feldspar, granite, gravel, gypsum, laterite, limestone, mica, magnesite, marble, phosphate rock, sand, sandstone, slate and talc, which is commercially mined by a person for use in Uganda or industrially processed into finished or semi-finished products, and includes such other minerals as the Minister may from time to time declare by notice published in the Gazette, to be industrial minerals;

   "Inspector of Mines" includes the Principal Inspector of Mines, Senior Inspector of Mines and any person authorised by the Commissioner to act in any of those capacities;

   "land" includes land beneath any water, the seabed and subsoil of such land;

   "location licence" means a location licence acquired under Part IV of this Act for small scale operations;

   "location licence area" means land subject of a location licence;

   "medical officer" has the meaning assigned to it under the Public Health Act;

   "mine" includes any place, excavation or working where any operation connected with mining is carried on, together with all buildings, premises, erections and appliances used for or in connection with such operation, and includes a quarry where building minerals and industrial minerals are mined;

   "mining" or "to mine" means intentionally to dig or excavate minerals and includes any operation directly or indirectly necessary for, or incidental to, the winning of minerals;

   "mineral" means any substance, whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form occurring naturally in or on the earth, formed by or subject to a geological process; but does not include petroleum, as defined in the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, water or building mineral;

   "mineral agreement" means an agreement entered into by the Minister relating to the matters specified in section 18 of this Act;

   "mineral deposit" means a mass of naturally occurring mineral material of economic value;

   "mineral right" means a prospecting licence, an exploration licence, a retention licence, a mining lease or location licence;

   "mineral processing" means procedures, such as dry and wet crushing and grinding of ore or other products containing minerals, to raise concentration of the substance mined;

   "mineral product" means a substance derived from an ore by mining or processing;

   "mining area" means land subject to a mining lease;

   "mining lease" means a mining lease acquired under the provisions of Part III of this Act;

   "mining operations" means operations carried out in the course of mining;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for mineral development;

   "ore" means a natural aggregate of one or more minerals, which may be mined and sold at a value or from which some part may be profitably extracted;

   "ore body" means a continuous well defined mass of material of sufficient ore content to make extraction economically feasible;

   "passageway" means any highway, road, street, footpath, or installation of any railway, tramway, wire-line, cableway, chute, pipe, sewer, drain, tunnel, shaft, fluming or watercourse, and includes any right of way, easement or hereditament;

   "person" includes an individual, a company or other corporate entity or an association or body of persons whether incorporated or unincorporated;

   "precious minerals" include—

      (i)   precious stones, namely agate, amber, amethyst, cat's eye, chrysolite, diamond, emerald, garnet, opal, ruby, sapphire, turquoise and all other substances of a similar nature to any of them; and

      (ii)   precious metals, namely gold, silver, platinum, iridium, osmium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, or any other rare earth elements;

   "programme of exploration operations" means a programme of exploration operations prepared by a holder and approved by the Commissioner on the granting of an exploration licence and includes any amendments to such programme made pursuant to the provisions of this Act;

   "programme of development and mining operations" means a programme of development and mining operations prepared by a holder and approved by the Commissioner on the granting of a mining lease and includes any amendments to such program made in pursuance to this Act;

   "prospect" means intentionally to search for minerals and mineral deposits and includes any operations to test the mineral bearing qualities of any land or mining area;

   "prospecting licence" means a prospecting licence acquired under the provisions of Part III of this Act;

   "public officer" has the meaning assigned to it under the Constitution;

   "registered holder", in relation to a mineral right, means the person whose name is for the time being recorded as the holder of a mineral right pursuant to section 92 of this Act;

   "regulations" means regulations made under this Act;

   "retention area" means land subject to a retention licence;

   "retention licence" means a retention licence acquired under Part III of this Act;

   "small-scale operations" means prospecting or mining operations which do not involve expenditure in excess of 500 currency points or the use of specialised technology;

   "termination" means the lapse of a mineral right by its expiry, surrender or cancellation;

   "working for profit" means producing a mineral product for use or sale.

   "wetland" has the meaning assigned to it under the National Environment Statute.

3.   Ownership of minerals.

   Subject to any right granted to any person under this Act, the entire property in and control of all minerals in, on or under, any land or waters in Uganda are and shall be vested in the Government, notwithstanding any right of ownership of or by any person in relation to any land in, on or under which any such minerals are found.

4.   Acquisition of mineral right.

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person may acquire the right to search for, retain, mine and dispose of any mineral in Uganda by acquiring such right under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

   (2) No person may explore or prospect for, or retain or mine or dispose of any mineral in Uganda except under, and in accordance with, a licence issued under this Act.

   (3) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction—

   (a)   in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding twenty five currency points, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both; and

   (b)   in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding 50 currency points.

   (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (3) of this section, the court before which such person is convicted may—

   (a)   order the forfeiture of all minerals unlawfully obtained by such person;

   (b)   and in the event that the minerals cannot for any reason be forfeited, order the forfeiture of such sums of money as the court shall assess as the reasonable value of the minerals; and any minerals or their value so forfeited shall become the property of the Government and shall be disposed of as the Commissioner may direct.

   (5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Commissioner may authorise any person to undertake exploration or prospecting operations without a mineral right in the course of scientific investigation into the geological or mineral resources of Uganda, subject to such conditions as the Commissioner may determine.

5.   Restrictions on acquisition of mineral right.

   No mineral right shall be granted to or held by—

   (a)   an individual who—

      (i)   is not a citizen of Uganda;

      (ii)   is under the age of 18 years;

      (iii)   is or becomes an undischarged bankrupt, as a result of having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any written law; or

   (b)   a company—

      (i)   which has not been registered in Uganda or incorporated under the Companies Act; or

      (ii)   which is in liquidation, except where the liquidation is part of a scheme for the reconstruction or amalgamation of such company.

6.   Transfer of mineral right.

   (1) A prospecting licence shall not be transferable.

   (2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) of this section, the transfer of any other type of mineral right or of a share of that right shall be void and of no legal effect unless approved by the Commissioner.

   (3) An application for the approval of the transfer of a mineral right of a type referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall be submitted to the Commissioner and shall contain such details as may be prescribed, together with such other information as the Commissioner may require.

   (4) The Commissioner may give his or her approval for the transfer referred to in subsection (3) of this section where the proposed transferee of the mineral right is a person that controls or is controlled by, or is under joint or common control with, the holder of the mineral right; however, such transferee is not disqualified under any provisions of this Act from holding the mineral right sought to be transferred.

   (5) Where the Commissioner has given his or her approval to the transfer of a mineral right under subsection (4) of this section, the transferee of such mineral right, unless otherwise exempted by the relevant transfer agreement, shall assume and be jointly and severally responsible for all rights, liabilities and duties of the transferor under the mineral right prior to the transfer.

7.   Form and content of mineral right.

   (1) A mineral right shall be granted by the Commissioner as provided for in this Act and shall be in such form as may be prescribed.

   (2) A mineral right shall specify—

   (a)   the name and address of the holder of the mineral right;

   (b)   the date of the grant of the mineral right and the period for which it is granted;

   (c)   a description of the area over which it is granted;

   (d)   the mineral or minerals in respect of which it is granted; and

   (e)   the conditions on which it is granted.

8.   Types of mineral right.

   Prospecting, exploration and mining shall be carried out only under a prospecting licence, an exploration licence, a retention licence, a mining lease or a location licence as the case may be.

9.   Application for mineral right.

   An application for a mineral right shall be made to the Commissioner and shall be in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed.

10.   Further information in support of application.

   The Commissioner may, for the purpose of, and prior to, making a decision whether or not to grant an application for a mineral right—

   (a)   request the applicant to furnish such further relevant information as he or she considers necessary; and

   (b)   make such consultation or investigation as he or she considers necessary.

11.   Compliance with other laws, etc.

   Where any act is prohibited or otherwise regulated by any written law other than this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising the holder of a mineral right to do any such act, otherwise than in accordance with that written law.

12.   Security for compliance.

   (1) The Commissioner may, from time to time, make such arrangements as appear appropriate to him or her to ensure that the holder of a mineral right complies with this Act and in particular shall require guarantees in respect of that compliance.

   (2) Failure to provide the guarantees required under subsection (1) of this section shall constitute a contravention of this Act for the purposes of section 90 of this Act.

PART II
ADMINISTRATION.

13.   Commissioner for Geological Survey and Mines Department.

   (1) Subject to the Constitution and any other laws regulating or providing for the appointment of public officers, the President shall appoint a Commissioner for the Geological Survey and Mines Department and such other public officers as may be necessary for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.

   (2) The Commissioner may delegate or assign to any public officer appointed under subsection (1) of this section, any of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act, but in so doing the Commissioner shall not be taken to have divested himself or herself of the right to exercise any of those powers, duties and functions.

14.   Powers of Commissioner, etc.

   (1) The Commissioner, an Inspector of Mines or an authorised officer may, at all reasonable times, enter upon any land, prospecting area, exploration area, mining area or mine, or any factory or premises where minerals are kept or processed on any such land, prospecting area, exploration area, mining area or mine, for the purpose of—

   (a)   generally inspecting any such land or area, premises, workings or factory and examining prospecting, exploration or mining operations or the treatment of minerals being performed or carried on there;

   (b)   ascertaining whether the provisions of this Act are being complied with;

   (c)   taking soil samples or specimen of rocks, ore concentrates, tailings or minerals situated upon such land or area, premises, workings or factory for the purpose of examination or assay;

   (d)   breaking up the surface of any such land to ascertain the rocks or minerals within or under the land;

   (e)   digging up any land and fixing any post, stone, mark or object to be used in the survey of such land;

   (f)   examining books of accounts, vouchers, documents or records of any kind required to be kept under this Act or the regulations, or the terms and conditions of any mineral right, and taking copies of such books of account, vouchers, documents or records; or

   (g)   obtaining such other information as he or she may deem necessary.

   (2) The Commissioner, Inspector of Mines or an authorised officer may, with respect to the health and safety of persons employed by a holder of a mineral right, issue written directions to and impose restrictions on such holder or any person so employed.

   (3) In exercising his or her powers under subsection (1) of this section, the Commissioner, Inspector of Mines or an authorised officer shall ensure that as little damage and inconvenience as possible is caused to the owner or lawful occupier of the land on which the powers are exercised.

15.   Obstruction of Commissioner, etc.

   Any person who, without reasonable excuse, hinders or obstructs the Commissioner, Inspector of Mines, or any authorised officer or other person from carrying out any of his or her duties or functions under this Act commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 currency points or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.

16.   Indemnity of officials.

   The Minister, Commissioner, or any other public officer appointed under section 13 of this Act shall not incur any liability in respect of the exercise or performance, or purported exercise or performance, by him or her in good faith of any function under and for the purposes of this Act.

17.   Prohibition of officers to acquire interest.

   (1) No officer shall directly or indirectly acquire any right or interest in any mineral right and any document or transaction purporting to confer any such right or interest in any officer shall be void and of no legal effect.

   (2) No officer shall acquire or retain any share in a company carrying on prospecting, exploration or mining operations in Uganda.

   (3) Any officer who contravenes subsection (2) of this section commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 100 currency points or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.

   (4) In addition to the penalty prescribed in subsection (3) of this section, a court which convicts an officer of an offence under this section shall also order that any shares or other interest involved in or connected with the commission of the offence shall be forfeited and shall be disposed of in a manner determined by the Commissioner by order published in the Gazette.

   (5) For the purposes of this section, "officer" means a public officer for the time being engaged in the administration of this Act.

PART III
MINERAL AGREEMENT, PROSPECTING LICENCE, EXPLORATION LICENCE, RETENTION LICENCE AND MINING LEASE.

18.   Mineral agreements.

   (1) The Minister may enter into an agreement, in this section referred to as a "mineral agreement" consistent with the provisions of this Act, with any person with respect to any matter relating to or connected with operations or activities under an exploration licence or a mining lease.

   (2) A mineral agreement shall include the terms and conditions relating to—

   (a)   minimum exploration or mining operations to be carried out and the time table determined for purposes of such operations;

   (b)   the minimum expenditure in respect of exploration or mining operations;

   (c)   the manner in which exploration or mining operations shall be carried out;

   (d)   the processing, whether wholly or partly in Uganda, of any mineral or group of minerals found, obtained or mined by the holder of a mineral right in the course of exploration or mining operations;

   (e)   the basis on which the market value of any mineral or group of minerals in question may from time to time be determined;

   (f)   financial and insurance arrangements;

   (g)   resolution of disputes through an international arbitration or a sole expert;

   (h)   any other matter incidental to or connected with the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (g) of this subsection.

   (3) Any term or condition contained in a mineral agreement that is inconsistent with any provision of this Act shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect.

   (4) Nothing contained in a mineral agreement shall be construed as absolving any party to such agreement from any requirement prescribed by law.

19.   Application for prospecting licence.

   An application for the grant of a prospecting licence—

   (a)   shall be made to the Commissioner in the prescribed form and upon payment of the prescribed fee; and

   (b)   may contain any other matter, which the applicant wishes the Commissioner to consider.

20.   Grant of a prospecting licence.

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commissioner may grant a prospecting licence and, as appropriate, revoke any such licence.

   (2) The Commissioner shall, where he or she refuses to grant a prospecting licence, or decides to revoke any such licence, give the applicant a statement of his or her reasons for the refusal.

21.   Restrictions on prospecting licence.

   (1) No prospecting licence shall authorise the holder of the licence to prospect over an area of land that is, or forms part of—

   (a)   an exploration area, a retention area or a location licence area; or

   (b)   a forest reserve, game reserve, national park, or an urban centre, unless the holder of the prospecting licence has first given notice to and obtained permission from the relevant authorities and complies with any conditions imposed by such authorities.

   (2) Where it is necessary to fly over any land for the purpose of exercising any right under a prospecting licence, nothing in this section shall prevent any such flight from being undertaken, provided it is in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of this Act.

22.   Duration of prospecting licence.

   A prospecting licence shall be for the duration of one year.

23.   Rights of prospecting licence holder.

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a prospecting licence shall confer on the holder of such licence a nonexclusive right to carry on prospecting operations for any mineral.

   (2) For the purpose of exercising the right referred to in subsection (1) of this section, the holder of a prospecting licence may, subject to the provisions of this Act and the conditions of such licence, if any, either himself or herself or by or through his or her employees or agents, enter any area not otherwise excluded from prospecting and erect camps and temporary buildings, and do any other act or thing that may facilitate the exercise of that right; however the erection of any such camps and buildings and the doing of any such other act or thing shall not be construed as conferring any right or title to or interest in the land covered by such area.

24.   Obligations of prospecting licence holder.

   The holder of a prospecting licence shall—

   (a)   subject to section 21 of this Act, carry on prospecting operations in accordance with his o

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