Minerals Development Act 2017

Retention licence

22. (1) Where a licensee under a prospecting licence has discovered minerals in or on the specified land, the Minister shall, subject to subsection (2), grant a licence (in this Act referred to as a “retention licence”) to the licensee to continue to prospect, subject to a reduction or elimination of the requirements relating to the exploration programme and financial expenditure if—

(a) the licensee submits, before the end of the term of the prospecting licence, an application in the prescribed form, the prescribed application fee and a current tax clearance certificate,

(b) the licensee has held the prospecting licence for the prescribed period,

(c) the Minister is satisfied that the licensee at the time of making the application has discovered minerals in or on the specified land, and is also satisfied that—

(i) it is not economically feasible to work the minerals, although it is reasonable to expect that working the minerals will become economically feasible in the future, or

(ii) there are environmental, access or other difficulties that prevent the minerals from being worked for the time being,

(d) the Minister is of the opinion that prospecting for the minerals is in the public interest,

(e) the applicant satisfies the Minister that—

(i) a reduced exploration programme is appropriate and that the applicant has, or has available to him or her, the financial resources and technical ability to carry out the programme, or

(ii) no exploration programme is required in the circumstances,

(f) the applicant continues to be a fit and proper person (as provided for by section 27 ) to be a licensee,

(g) the licensee has complied with the conditions of the prospecting licence and has not breached a provision of this Act or the regulations or a condition of any other prospecting licence, retention licence, mining licence or ancillary surface rights licence held by the licensee,

(h) the applicant provides the prescribed information and evidence and any additional information or evidence required by the Minister,

(i) the requirements of section 25 regarding public notice and consideration of objections have been complied with,

(j) the applicant obtains insurance of the classes and in the amounts that are satisfactory to the Minister, and

(k) the first instalment of the licence fee, as determined by the Minister, has been paid.

(2) A retention licence may be granted in respect of some or all of the minerals for which the prospecting licence was granted and may include additional minerals, other than excepted minerals.

(3) A retention licence applies to the land in or on which the minerals are located and any other land that may be required for future mining operations as specified in the retention licence.