Mines and Minerals Act
- Assented to on 8 May 1981
- Commenced on 1 June 1981
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part 1 – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Mines and Minerals Act.
2. Vesting of minerals, etc.
4. Service of documents
Part II – Administration
5. Commissioner for Mines and MineralsThe Minister may appoint a person to be the Commissioner for Mines and Minerals, and such other persons to be officers as he may consider necessary for the administration of this Act.
6. Performance of Commissioner’s functions, etc.
7. Prohibition against disclosure of information
8. Officers holding certain shares to notify Minister
9. IndemnityA public officer does not incur any liability in respect of the exercise or performance, or purported exercise or performance, by him in good faith of any function under and for the purposes of this Act.[2 of 1983]
Part III – Mineral rights
Division 1 — General
10. Agreements with respect to the grant of Mineral RightsThe Minister, on behalf of the Republic, may enter into an agreement (not inconsistent with this Act) with any person with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely—
12. Power of Minister to obtain information concerning applications, etc.
13. Restriction on persons to whom Mineral Right may be grantedNo Mineral Right—
14. Form of Mineral RightA Mineral Right shall be in accordance with such form as the Minister approves.
15. Restriction on exercise of rights by holder of Mineral RightWhere the doing of any act is regulated or prohibited by a written law (other than this Act), nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the holder of a Mineral Right to do the Act—
Division 2 — Reconnaissance licences
16. Application for reconnaissance licenceAn application for the grant of a reconnaissance licence—
17. Disposal of application for reconnaissance licence
18. Restriction on grant of reconnaissance licence
19. Notice of decision on application for reconnaissance licence
20. Contents of reconnaissance licence
21. Term of reconnaissance licence
22. Miscellaneous provisions concerning reconnaissance licences
23. Rights of holder of reconnaissance licence
24. Duties of holder of reconnaissance licence
Division 3 — Exclusive prospecting licences
25. Application for exclusive prospecting licenceAn application for the grant of an exclusive prospecting licence—
26. Disposal of application for exclusive prospecting licence
27. Restriction on grant of exclusive prospecting licence
28. Section 19 to apply to application for exclusive prospecting licenceThe provisions of section 19 apply in relation to an application for the grant of an exclusive prospecting licence as they apply in relation to an application for the grant of a reconnaissance licence.
29. Contents of exclusive prospecting licence
30. Programme prospecting operations
31. OptionThere may be included in an exclusive prospecting licence provision with respect to the exercise, by the Republic or a person identified in the licence, of an option to acquire on stipulated terms, or on terms to be agreed, an interest in any mining venture which may be carried on in relation to land in, or which constitutes, the prospecting area.
32. Term of exclusive prospecting licence
33. Miscellaneous provisions concerning exclusive prospecting licences
34. Rights of holder of exclusive prospecting licenceSubject to this Act and the conditions of the licence, an exclusive prospecting licence, while it has effect, confers on the holder of the licence the exclusive right to carry on prospecting operations in the prospecting area for the mineral to which the licence relates, and for the purpose of the exercise of that right the holder may, subject to this Act and the conditions of the licence, in particular, either himself, or by way of his employees or agents, enter the prospecting area and erect camps and temporary buildings, or erect installations in any waters forming part of the prospecting area.
35. Duties of holder of exclusive prospecting licenceThe holder of an exclusive prospecting licence—
36. Variation, etc., of obligations
Division 4 — Mining licences
37. Application for mining licence
38. Disposal of application for mining licence
39. Restriction on grant of mining licence
40. Section 19 to apply to application for mining licenceThe provisions of section 19 apply in relation to an application for the grant of a mining licence as they apply in relation to an application for the grant of a reconnaissance licence.
41. Contents of mining licence
42. Term of mining licence
43. Rights of holder of mining licence
44. Duties of holder of mining licence
45. Use of wasteful practices
46. Cessation, etc., of production from mine
47. Power of Commissioner on cessation, etc.Where, pursuant to section 46 (1) or (2), notice is given to him, or if he otherwise becomes aware, of any cessation, suspension or curtailment of production from a mine, the Commissioner shall cause the matter concerned to be investigated and thereafter—
48. Unit development
Division 5 — Renewal and amendment of Mineral Rights
49. Application for renewal of reconnaissance licence
50. Application for renewal of exclusive prospecting licence
51. Application for renewal of mining licence
52. Notice of disposal of application for renewal of Mineral Right
53. Licence to have effect pending disposal of application for renewal
54. Amendment of prospecting or mining programme
Division 6 — Surrender, cancellation and suspension of Mineral Rights
56. Effect of certificate of surrender
57. Suspension or cancellation of Mineral Right
Division 7 — Transfers and registration
59. Interest in Mineral Right to be created by instrument in writing
60. Transfer of Mineral Right to be approved by Minister, etc.
61. Minister may require informationThe Minister may require any person making application under section 60 to the Commissioner to furnish to the Commissioner such information as the Minister may reasonably require to enable him to dispose of the application, and the applicant shall comply with the requirement.
62. Evidentiary provision
63. Inspection of Register
64. Register may be rectifiedWhere the Commissioner is satisfied that there has been a mistake made in, or that some matter has been incorrectly entered in, the Register, he shall rectify the Register by correcting that mistake or incorrect entry.
65. Offences in relation to registrationA person who wilfully—
Division 8 — Miscellaneous duties with respect to submitting reports, etc.
66. First Schedule
Division 9 — Miscellaneous
67. Application for inclusion of additional minerals in licence
68. Enlargement of prospecting area or mining area
69. Recovery of unexpended amounts
70. Control of company not to be given without consent of Minister
Part IV – Non-exclusive prospecting licences and claims
71. DefinitionIn this Part, “District” means one of the districts into which Malawi is divided for purposes of administration in accordance with the Regional and District Boundaries and Place Names Act.[Cap. 18:04]
72. Restriction on exercise of rights by holder of non-exclusive prospecting licence or claimWhere the doing of any act is regulated or prohibited by a written law (other than this Act), nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the holder of a non-exclusive prospecting licence or a claim to do the act—
73. Non-exclusive prospecting licence
74. Rights under non-exclusive prospecting licence
75. Term and renewal of non-exclusive prospecting licence
76. Pegging of claim
77. Restriction on registration of claim
78. Period of validity and renewal of claim
79. Rights and duties of holder of claim
80. Cancellation of claim
Part V – Mineral permits
81. Issue of mineral permitA District Commissioner, or a person authorized by the Minister for the purposes of this section, may, on the prescribed fee being paid, issue to any person a mineral permit.
82. Rights under mineral permitSubject to this Act, the holder of a mineral permit may enter upon public land or customary land and mine any prescribed mineral.
83. Restriction on exercise of rights under mineral permit
84. Cancellation of mineral permitThe Minister may, where he considers it necessary or desirable to do so, cancel a mineral permit.
85. Record of mineral permitsAny person issuing a mineral permit shall supply a copy of the permit to the Commissioner who shall maintain a record, in such manner and containing such particulars as he may determine, of copies so supplied to him.
Part VI – Financial
86. Royalty on minerals obtained under mining licence, etc.
87. Royalty on minerals obtained under a claim
88. Prohibition on disposal of mineralsIf the holder of a mining licence fails to pay any royalty payable by him on or before the due date or any extension thereof allowed by the Minister, the Minister may, by notice served on the holder of the mining licence, prohibit the disposal of any mineral from the mining area concerned, or from any other mining area held by that holder, until all outstanding royalty has been paid or until an arrangement has been made, acceptable to the Minister, for the payment of the royalty, and the holder shall comply with the notice.
89. Remission of royalty, etc.
90. Annual charges in respect of Mineral Rights
91. Security for complianceThe Minister may, from time to time, make such arrangements as appear appropriate to him to secure that the holder of a Mineral Right complies with this Act, and in particular may accept guarantees, whether from shareholders or otherwise, in respect of that compliance.
92. Minister may require information to be furnished
93. Recovery of royalty, etc.
Part VII – Protection of the environment
94. Protection of natural resources to be taken into account
95. Conditions for the protection of the environment, etc.
96. Rehabilitation of area damaged by prospecting or mining
97. Direction to comply with conditions of Mineral Right for protection of environment
Part VIII – Reserved minerals
98. DefinitionsIn this Part, unless the context otherwise requires—“precious metals” means gold, silver, platinum and platinoid metals, in an unmanufactured state, and includes all such slimes, concentrates, slags, tailings, residues and amalgams as are valuable for their content of the aforementioned precious metals;“precious stones” means rough and uncut diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, not forming part of any tool or instrument or abrasive powder used in an industrial process, and includes any other stones which may be prescribed;“reserved minerals” means precious metals, precious stones and any other mineral which may be prescribed;“reserved minerals licence” means a licence issued under section 100.
99. Possession, etc., of reserved minerals
100. Reserved minerals licence
101. OffencesAny person who contravenes section 99 (1) or 100 (3) is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction—
Part IX – Restrictions and surface rights
102. DefinitionIn this Part, “Authority” means—
103. Restrictions on exercise of rights in relation to certain land
105. Compensation for disturbance of rights, etc.
106. Notice of intention to commence reconnaissance or prospecting operations, etc.
109. ***[Part X: Affecting sections 107-109 repealed by 2 of 1983]
Part XI – Disputes
110. Commissioner may decide disputes
111. Enforcement of Commissioner’s decrees and orders
112. Appeal to Minister
113. Jurisdiction of courts excluded
114. Regulations with respect to proceedingsThe Regulations may make provision with respect to—
Part XII – Miscellaneous
115. Right to take building and industrial minerals
116. Scientific investigation
117. Power of Commissioner and authorized officers
118. Removal of minerals
119. Permit to export minerals
120. Acquisition of landWhere the President considers that any land is required to secure the development or utilization of the mineral resources of Malawi he may direct that the land be compulsorily acquired under the Lands Acquisition Act.[Cap. 58:04]
121. Production of books, etc.The Minister may direct the holder of a Mineral Right or a claim, at a reasonable time and place specified in the direction, to make available to, or to produce for inspection by, the Commissioner or an authorized officer, any books, accounts, vouchers, documents or records of any kind, concerning the Mineral Right or claim, and if the holder fails or neglects to do so he is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand Kwacha.
122. Identity, of persons exercising certain rights, to be establishedA person exercising any right under a reconnaissance licence, a prospecting licence or a non-exclusive prospecting licence on any land shall, if required to do so by any lawful occupier of the land, produce evidence that he is the holder, or an agent or employee of the holder, of such a licence; and if he fails to do so he may be treated as a trespasser.
123. Removal of property by holder of Mineral Right
124. Removal and sale of property
125. Obstruction of holder of Mineral Right, etc.Any person who, without reasonable excuse, obstructs, molests, hinders or prevents the holder of a Mineral Right, a non-exclusive prospecting licence, or a claim, in or from the doing of any act which that holder is authorized to do by this Act, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand Kwacha or to imprisonment for a term of two years, or both.
126. Offence committed by body corporateWhen an offence which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of that offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
127. Miscellaneous offencesAny person who—
Part XIII – Regulations
Part XIV – Transitional provisions and savings
129. Transitional provisions and savingsThe transitional provisions and savings in the Second Schedule shall have effect.
130. RepealsRepeals** The following Acts were repealed—Mining Act (Cap. 61:01);Mining Regulation (Oil) Act (Cap. 62:01);Radio-active Minerals Act (Cap. 62:02),and all subsidiary legislation made thereunder was revoked except the Mining (Safety) Regulations (see post p. 90).
History of this document
31 December 2014 this version
01 June 1981
08 May 1981