Temporary Suspension of Mining Title Registrations in EPO registered areas

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Provincial Mining Directors (PMD)s have been instructed by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to temporarily suspend any new applications for registration of mining titles in the areas where Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs), initially issued on March 12, 2021, are scheduled to expire on March 11, 2024, at 00:00hrs.

The internal circular issued on the 8th of March 2024 and signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines, instructed the PMDs to await official communication before resuming any registration processes.

“You must by now be aware that the current set of EPOs that were issued on 12 March 2021 are due to expire on 11 March 2024 at 00:00hrs.

“By the copy of this Internal Circular, you are hereby instructed not to accept any applications for the registration of mining titles in the concerned areas in your respective provinces until such a time you are advised otherwise through official communication from my office. This directive also applies to all EPOs that are currently active on expiry,” the circular read in part.

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The move to temporarily suspend new mining title registrations seemingly stems from the need for a systematic and controlled transition between the expiring and potentially renewed EPOs. This period allows for the comprehensive evaluation of the existing mining titles and facilitates the smooth implementation of any changes or renewals.

Critics, mainly small-scale miners, accuse EPO applicants for holding land for speculative purposes. Applicants continuously apply for the same EPOs after expiry despite getting rejected.

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