Mineral exploration and mining activities are guided and governed by Government Decree No 158/2016/ND-CP (November 29, 2016), which elaborates on a number of provisions of the Law on Minerals.
1. Mineral exploration license.
This license is granted once most of the conditions in the following order of priority are met by an organisation or individual as requestor:
(1) Invested in a project for basic geological surveys of mineral resources in the area proposed for licensing;
(2) Has a minimum charter capital of 50 per cent of the total estimated investment in the mineral exploration project in the proposed area;
(3) Uses advanced technology and modern mining equipment to maximise recovery of minerals; complies with regulations on environmental protection and financial obligations;
(4) Requestor’s commitment to mining and using minerals for domestic production needs in accordance with the approved plan after success of mineral exploration
If all the conditions are met, the entity/person that submitted the request at the earliest is chosen for granting a mineral exploration license.
2. Transfer of mineral exploration rights.
Conditions for transfer of mineral exploration rights are:
(1) The assignee must meet the requirements under the Law on Minerals. In case the assignee does not qualify for mineral exploration, the assignee must contract with an eligible organisation to continue the exploration project;
(2) The assignor has fulfilled at least 50% of the budget for the mineral exploration project and certain obligations required under the Law on Minerals and the mineral exploration license;
(3) There is no dispute over the rights and obligations relating to the mineral exploration activities;
(4) The assignor has submitted the request to the authority at least 90 days before the expiry date.
3. Mineral exploration license extension. Mineral exploration license is extended once the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The licensed operator has submitted eligible request of licence extension to the authority at least 45 days before the expiry date;
(2) Works under the mineral exploration plan and license have not been completed or there have been changes in geological structures or exploration methods;
(3) The licensed operator has fulfilled obligations under the Law on Minerals.
1. Mineral mining license
To be granted a mineral mining license, an organization or individual must satisfy the following conditions under the Law on Minerals:
(1) Have a mineral mining investment project in the area explored and the mineral reserves are approved for exploitation in accordance with the governmental master plan. The mineral mining investment project must contain a plan to use specialized manpower, and advanced and appropriate equipment, technology and appropriate mining methods appropriate. In case of toxic minerals, the Prime Minister’s approval is required;
(2) Have an environmental impact assessment report or environmental protection undertaking as stipulated by the law;
(3) Have a minimum equity equal to 30 per cent of the total investment capital of the mineral mining investment project.
2. Transfer of mineral mining rights.
Conditions for transfer of mineral mining rights are:
(1) Organisation or individual is eligible transferee under the Law on Minerals;
(2) The requestor has completed its commitments under the Law on Minerals;
(3) There is no dispute over the rights and obligations relating to mining activities;
(4) The requestor has submitted eligible request to the authority at least 90 days before the expiry date.
3. Duration of mineral mining license.
The mining license term cannot exceed 30 years. It may be extended several times, but the total extension period should not exceed 20 years.
4. Extension of mineral mining license or individual mining license. Mineral mining license or individual mining license can be extended if the following conditions are met:
(1) Eligible request of license extension is submitted to the authority at least 45 days (applicable for the mineral mining license) or 15 days (applicable for an individual mining license) before its expiry date;
(2) A report clearly demonstrates that the mineral reserves in the mining area have not been mined fully up to the date of extension;
(3) The licensed operator has fulfilled the obligations under the Law on Minerals and the licence;
(4) The licensed operator has fulfilled obligations of environmental protection, land, water and infrastructure use in mineral mining activities as required;
(5) The extended mining plans are consistent with approved mineral plan.
Mining right fees rate (R)
The mining right fees rate (R) is fixed depending on the category and kind of minerals at value of 1 – 5 per cent of the value of crude ore in the mineral area licensed
No. Kind and type of mineral R (%)
I Group of common construction materials and peat
1 Common construction materials used (sand, gravel and grit) 5
2 Peat and the remaining kinds of common construction materials 3
II Group of mineral construction materials
1 White sand and fire clay 3
2 Paving stones, dolomite, clay as cement raw materials 1
3 Remaining mineral construction materials 2
III Group of metallic minerals 2
IV Group of mineral raw materials
1 Limestone as cement raw materials 3
2 Remaining mineral raw materials 2
V Group of mineral fuel (all types of coal, except peat) 2
VI Group of mineral gemstones and semi-precious stones 2
VII Group of hot mineral water, mineral water and CO2 gas 1
The Decree takes effect on January 15, 2017, replacing Government Decree No 15/2012/ND-CP (March 09, 2012); repeals articles 3.2, 6.1, 16.2.b of the Government Decree No 22/2012/ND-CP (March 26, 2012); as well as articles 3.2, 4, 6.3, 7, 15.2.b of the Government Decree No 203/2013/ND-CP (November 28, 2013). — MAI COUNSEL