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FG Increases Mining Rates, Decries Non–Remittance

The Federal Government has increased the rates and charges for all activities in the mining sector.

Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the new charges on Thursday in Abuja, expressed concerns over non-remittance by some operators.

Alake said that mining operators in the industry were making huge amounts of money but refused to remit them to the Federal Government.

“Today, we are taking a major step in the efforts to implement the seven-point agenda.

“This is to position the sector for economic consolidation by announcing a new regime of rates and charges for various services of the department and agencies of the ministry.”

The minister said the development was in view of the introduction of qualitative measures being implemented in recent times.

He added that it would raise the level of services, improve traffic of transactions, and develop infrastructure.

“For instance, we supervised the successful implementation and conclusion of the mineral sector support for economic diversification minddiver project.”

He said the mining sector involved Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), the agency responsible for licensing, which acquired the new mining information system, Electronic Mining Cadastre System, and the EMC+ portal.

“This enables a 24-hour application and administration system that accelerated the rate of application and access of applicants to MCO, adding that the system had improved transparency.

Alake said the system would also encourage more interest and boost participation in the sector, thereby giving stakeholders confidence to invest in it.

He said that the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) had acquired integrated base data accessible to the public.

“The stakeholders have been enjoying the mining sector; it is therefore equitable that those who invest in the mining sector and make profits from it should be on the front lines of government’s efforts to recoup rather than pass it on to poor Nigerians.”

Alake said that there were about 268 items in the rate regime, adding that it would be difficult to mention all the items.

“The major highlights are as follows: under the new regime, investors applying for a mining lease license will pay N3 million, while Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML) applicants will pay N300,000 for the first two cadastral units.

“The cost to obtain an Exploration Licence (EL) is N600, 000 for the first 100 cadastral units.”

He listed others as a quarry lease and reconnaissance permit, which attracted N300,000.

“The aim is to discourage speculation and address the paucity of funds, limiting the federal government’s capacity to improve ease of doing business in the sector.

“The new rate, which affects 268 items in the industry, includes an annual service fee of N31,500 for the first time.

“Also, N260, 000 for a Small Scale Mining License (SSML), N500,000 for a Quarry Lease, and N1,250,000 for firms operating with a Mining Lease.

“Following the renewal of licenses, the rates for the respective categories will be N42, 000,” he said.

Alake also listed an exploration license, N420, 000, for a SSML N1.5 million for a mining lease, and N1 million for a quarry lease.

“Other services affected by the new regulations include mineral title applications to the MCO, along with the transfer, enlargement, surrender, and consolidation of mineral titles.”

According to Alake, the new regulations seek to maximise royalties from critical minerals like lithium and gold to boost the nation’s revenue base and contribute significantly to economic development.

“In the new rate regime, lithium ore lepidolite at the current market value of N600,000 per tonne attracts an N18,000 royalty per tonne.

“Kunzite, with a current market value of N3 million per tonne, attracts a N90,000 royalty per tonne, while lithium ore spodumene, with a current market value of N316,667 per tonne, attracts a N9,500 royalty per tonne,’’ he said.

He said that the rate review also affected services rendered by the MCO and the NGSA.

According to the minister, the new rate regime takes immediate effect. (NAN)

Source:- Vanguardngr

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