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Amendments on the Law on Mineral Resources

Amendments on the Law on Mineral Resources

At the session held on 28 July 2021 the Government of North Macedonia adopted the draft version of the amendments on the Law on Mineral Resources proposed by the Ministry of Economy.

The latest amendments on the Law on Mineral Resources includes more grounds for unilateral termination of the concession agreement for the exploitation of mineral resources by the state, which tightens the working conditions of the concessionaires.

The main changes in the latest amendments to the Law on Mineral Resources are: 

  • Reduction of the number of fines for the entities, if according to the Law on Trade Companies they are classified as micro and small businesses, while for other companies, classified as medium and large, the amount of the fine in the larger covers is proposed to be increased.
  • New provision is included according to which a concession cannot be granted to a legal entity that participated in a public call for granting a concession and didn’t pay the offered fee;
  • It is also possible for the municipalities to submit a request for obtaining a concession for exploitation for the needs of construction a municipal road, according to the established procedure for state roads construction;
  • A request for granting a concession for exploitation of own land can be submitted for clay under the same conditions and procedure as for sand and gravel and for collected quartz;
  • It is added a new obligation to report in case of changes in the shares or stakes that would individually or in combination lead to a change of the management body in the company that is the majority owner of the entity that has a concession;
  • an obligation is added by which the exploitation concession can be terminated due to a significant violation of the provisions of the contract or the laws and regulations applicable to the contract, in case when the exploitation violates the public interest and when the concessionaire exploits outside the area where the concession is granted by the concession agreement;
  • The ground for the Concession Agreement termination also is exploitation less than 20 percent of the anticipated amount of mineral raw material according to the main mining project, within one year, unless the concessionaire submits an explanation for the reason for the reduced exploitation, which is reviewed by a commission formed by the Minister;
  • Regulates the manner of taking the exam for obtaining a license for preparation of mining projects for surface and underground exploitation;
  • In the part of the collection of the concession fees, the provision is amended with which 78% of the paid concession fee is income in the budget of the municipality on whose territory the concession activity is performed, in the direction that the funds obtained on this basis should be intended for social or communal activities of interest to the municipality;
  • It is provided an appointment of a responsible person for supervision of the waste installation from mineral resources;
  • The conditions for the amount and term of validity of the financial guarantee referred to in Article 96 of the Law are specified and a transitional provision is provided by which the concessionaires have two years to submit, otherwise the concession agreement will be terminated unilaterally.